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VARIOUS accounts of Dalmatia have been written 
in English, many of which include a historical 
survey of Ragusa ; but the only special histories 
of the town itself are in German or Italian, and even 
those are not by any means complete. The best is un- 
doubtedly Professor Gelcich's little book, Dello Sviluppo 
Civile di Ragusa^ a perfect mine of valuable information, 
of which I have availed myself largely in the present 
volume. But it deals principally with the internal 
development, the archeology, and the architecture of 
the town, and does not dwell on its international 
position, which for foreign readers is its most import- 
ant aspect. Engel's Geschichte des Freystaates Ragusa 
is useful and fairly accurate, but it is somewhat dry, 
and more in the nature of a chronicle of events than 
a real history. The works of the local historians and 
chroniclers, such as Resti, Ragnina, Luccari, Gondola, 
and others, although they contain some interesting 
details and picturesque descriptions, traditions, &c., 
are written without a notion of historical accuracy, 
and are inspired by a strong bias which admits no 
facts unfavourable to Ragusa. That of the Tuscan, 
Razzi, is more reliable, but by no means wholly to be 
depended on, and it only brings us down to the end 



of the sixteenth century. The safest guide to the 
subject is to be found in the original records of the 
town, a large portion of which have been published 
by the South-Slavonic Academy of Agram, by the 
Hungarian Academy, and various other collections of 
documents on the history of the Southern Slaves, such 
as Miklosich's Monumenta Serbica^ Marin Sanudo, the 
works of Theiner, Poetic, Farlati, &c. The modern 
works on the history of Ragusa of which I have made 
the most use, besides the above-mentioned work of 
Professor Gelcich, are the same author's pamphlets. La 
Zedda and / Conti di Tuhelj ; T. Graham Jackson's 
Dalmatia for the chapters on Ragusan architecture ; 
Paul Pisani's Num Ragusini^ &c., for the Venetian period, 
and his large work La Dalmatie de 1797 i 1815 for the 
€nd of the Republic ; Klaic's Geschichte Bosniens for the 
relations between Ragusa and Bosnia ; Heyd's Histoire du 
Commerce du Levant and Professor Jire^ek's Handelsstrassen 
und Bergwerke for Ragusa's commercial development; 
Horatio Brown's Venice for Venetian history ; and Puipin 
and Spasowicz' history of Slavonic literature. A fuller 
list of authorities consulted is appended. 

I must express my especial indebtedness to Professor 
Gelcich for the assistance and encouragement which he 
afforded me in preparing this volume. I also received 
valuable aid from Signor V. Adamovic, who kindly 
placed his library at my service during my stay at 
Ragusa ; to Signor A. de Serragli, who gave much 
information on the topography and archeology of the 
town; to the Padre Bibliotecario of the Franciscan 
Monastery, who assisted me in my researches? and to 


Signer Giovanni Saraca. I may say that during my 
visits to Dalmatia I always found the natives courteous 
and kindly, and willing to assist me in every way, 
especially at Ragusa. Of the many features which 
Dalmatia has in common with Italy, the one which I 
must call attention to is the fact that in every Dalmatian 
town there is always at least one local antiquary who 
has made a life-study of the history and archeology, 
working with no other thought than the love of the 
subject, and always willing to assist other students. 

I am also indebted to Mr. Herbert P. Home, who 
kindly assisted me in the chapters dealing with archi- 
tecture and painting. 

In the spelling of the Slavonic names I have adopted 
the Croatian orthography, as being the most convenient 
and the most accurate. The following letters have a 
peculiar pronunciation : — 

C = ts in bits. Thus Cavtat is pronounced Tsavtat. 

C = ch in which. Thus Milja^ka is pronounced Miljachka. 

C is almost identical to the above, but is used only at the 
end of a word when preceded by an /. Thus Gunduli(^ 
is pronounced Gundulich. 

G is always pronounced hard, as in gig, 

H is like the German ch in Buch. 

J=y in yet. Thus Jajce is pronounced Yaytse. When at 
the end of a*word and preceded by the letters / or « it 
softens them into something like the French / in mouilli 
and the French gne in signe. Thus Sandalj and Sinj. 

The letter r is sometimes a semi-vowel, and is pronounced 
like eurre in French, but less definitely. Many syllables 
have no other vowel. Thus the name Hrvoje, 

S = J in since (never like s in nose). 


S = sh in shave. Thus Dusan is pronounced Dushan. 

U = 00 in boot, 

Z = z in b/aze, 

i, is like the French/ in Jour. 

In the case of well-known names and words which 
are usually spelt in another way, I have adhered to the 
common orthography. Thus I have written Mildosich 
instead of Miklosii, and Tsar instead of Car. Dalmatians 
of Italian sympathies, but having Slavonic names, invari- 
ably use the cA in the place of l or /. 

For the spelling " Slave," instead of the more common 
"Slav," my authority is Professor Freeman, who in a 
note on p. 386 of the Third Series of his Essays gives 
the following reasons for it: "First, no English word 
ends in v. Secondly, we form the names of other 
nations in another way ; we say a Swede ^ a Dane^ and a 
Pole^ not a Swed^ a Dan^ or a Pol. Thirdly, it is im- 
portant to bear in mind the history of the word — the 
fact that slave in the sense of 8ov\o^ is simply the same 

word with the national name.*' 

.. * . • 






THE CITY (656-1204) 15 


TION AND THE LAWS (1204-1276) ... 58 


BOSNIAN WARS (i 276-1 358) 90 





THE TURKISH INVASION (1358-1420) . . 163 

VIII. THE TURKISH CONQUEST (1420-1526) .219 




1667) 278 






WARS (1667-1797) 317 





INDEX ... . . .421 


Portrait of Marino Caboga {Photogravure) , Frontispiece 
{From the Galleria di Ragusei Illmtri) 

Byzantine Door-knocker, Rector's Palace . Title-page 


Entrance to the Harbour of Ragusa . . . i 
View of Ragusa facing 15 

{From p. G. Coronelh*s " Fie*ivs 0/ Dalmatiay" 1680) 

Onofrio's Fountain in the Piazza .... 41 
The Quay and Harbour Gate .... facing 54 

Ragusa from the East facing 58 

Torre Menze 66 

General View of Ragusa, from the West . . 83 
Bas-relief of St. Blaize, near the Porta Ploce . 95 

Plan of Ragusa facing 97 

Fortifications of Stagno Grande .... 99 
Cloister of the Franciscan Monastery . . facing 108 
Courtyard of the Sponza (Custom House) . .121 

Facade of the Sponza (Custom House), and Clock 

Tower 131 

Capital in the Franciscan Cloister . . . .152 
Capital in the Franciscan Cloister . . . -153 
Facade of the Rector's Palace . . . . facing 168 
Apothecary's Garden, Franciscan Monastery . .189 
Entrance to the Franciscan Monastery . . facing 196 
Terrace of the Franciscan Monastery, with the 

Torre Menze in the Background . . . 207 





Cloister of the Dominican Monastery . . .231 

Sketch Map of the Territories of the Ragusan 

Republic facing 240 

The Orfjindo Column 249 

Bird's-eye View of Ragusa and the Neighbour- 
hood facing 263 

[From an Old Map^ 1670) 

Sketch Map of the Environs of Ragusa . . facing 272 




Forte San Lorenzo 

Garden near Ragusa . 

Isola di Mezzo .... 

Courtyard of the Rector's Palace 

Mostar, in the Herzegovina 

" iEscuLAPius " Capital, Rector's Palace . 

Sculptured Impost, Rector's Palace . 

Sculptured Bracket, Rector's Palace 

Church of the Confraternity of the Rosary . 

Triptych by Niccol6 Ragusei in the Dominican 

Monastery facing 363 

Giovanni Gondola facing 375 * 

[From the Gaileria di Ragusei Illustri) 

Torre Menze and the Walls 389 

Terrace of the Ville Brava^k^, near Ragusa . . 405 
Map of Dalmatia, Bosnia, and the Herzegovina facing 417 
Map of the Balkan Peninsula .... facing ^1% 





THE eastern shore of the Adriatic from the Quar- 
nero to the Bocche di Cattaro is a series of deep 
inlets and bays, with rocky mountuns rising up 
behind, while countless islands, forming a veritable archi- 
pelago, follow the coastline. The country is for the 
most part bare and stony. The cypress, the olive, the 
vine grow on it, but never in great quantities. Patches 
of juniper and other bushes are often the only relief to 
the long stretches of sterile coast. Here and there more 
favour«l spots appear. At Spalato and in the Canale dei 
Sette Castelli, on the island of Curzola, in the environs 
of Kagusa, the v^etation is luxuriant, almost tropical. 
But Dalmatia is always a narrow strip, and as one pro- 




ceeds southwards it becomes ever narrower, the mountain 
ranges at various points coming right down to the 
water's edge. The land is subject to intense heat in 
summer, and is free from great cold, even in the middle 
of winter. But it suffers from fierce winds, from the 
hraj which, whirling down from the treeless wastes of 
the Karst mountains in the north-east, sweeps along the 
coastline with terrific force. Another curse from which 
it suffers is the frequency and severity of the earthquakes, 
which from time to time have wrought fearful havoc 
among the Dalmatian towns. 

But in spite of these disadvantages, ^long this shore 
a Latin civilisation aroscjjid flourished which, if inferior 
to that of Italy, nevertheless pjayed an important and 
valuable part in European development. Many wars 
were fought for the possession of Dalmatia. Roman, 
Byzantine Greek, Norman, Venetian, Hungarian, Slave, 
and Austrian struggled for it, and each left his impress 
on its civilisation, although the influence of two among 
these peoples far surpassed that of all the others — the 
Roman and the Venetian. 

Dalmatia has at all times been essentially a border- 
land. Geographically it belongs to the eastern peninsula 
of the Mediterranean, to the Balkan lands. But this 
narrow strip of coast, as Professor Freeman said,^ *' has 
not a little the air of a thread, a finger, a branch cast 
forth from the western peninsula." In its history its 
character as a mar ch land is still more noticeable, and 
this feature has always been jnanifested in a series of 
cbilised CfimmunitjfisJiLjyie.tow^^n a hinterland of 

1 Historical Essays^ Third Series^ pp. 22, 23. 


KarKarniiQ r»r Q/»mi-f'|Yi|iyfi fafiP" Here were thefatiiJtiest I 
Greek settlements in the Adr iatic, settlements plac ed in 
the midst of a native uncivilised Illyrian population. 
Here t he R omans came and . cpnqijejed,.. .hut _did^ not ' 
wholly abso rb, thc^ najdye_jaces.. Then the land was j 
disputed between the East ern and the Wcstem Exuprss, 
later betwee n . Christianity and Paganism^^ l ater still be- j 
tween the E astern and Western Churches. The Slavonic , ^ 

invasion, while almost obliterating the native Illyrian 
race, could not sweep away the Roman-Greek civilisation 
of the coast. Again Dalmati a became the debating 
ground be tween V eneti an and Hungarian^ the former 
triumphing in the end. When Christianity found' itself 
menaced by the Muhamedan invasion. Dalms^tig was the 
borderland between the two faiths. A hundred years /ifoo 
ago it was involved in one phase of the great struggle 
between England and France. To-day, under the rule 
of a Power which may be said to be all borderland, it 
is the scene of another nationalist conflict between two 
races. As before we still have a civilised fringe ^ a series 
of tow ns, with a vast hinterland inhabited by Slaves^by a 
race less civilis ed, yet w ishing to become civilised on lines 
different from those of the Latin race. It is still the 
bord erland between_ the Catholic and the Orthodox re- j 
ligion s, and also between the two branches of the South- i 
Slavonic p eople — the Croatians and the Serbs.. 

The Dalmatian townships had many features in their 
development similar to those of the towns of Italy, 
especially of the maritime republics. But, unlike their 
Italian sisters, they were always on the threshold of 
barbarism, and this fact imparts to their history its 


_ I 


peculiar character. They were essentially border for- 
tresses/ keeping watch and ward to save their civilisation 
from being swept into the sea by the advancing tide of 
Slave and Turk. 

Of all these towns, that in which this feature is most 
marked is Ragusa. Ragusa*s development shows in every 
way a stronger individuality than that of any other. For 
three characteristics above all is this city remarkable, 
characteristics which enabled it to a ttain and prcaerve 
such a peculia r position in th e Adriatic. The first is its 
preo graphical situation. Ragusa was, as it were, the gate 
j of the East , the meeting point of Latin and Slav e^ of the 
I Eastern and Western Chu rc hes, of Christian and Muha- 
medan. One of the chief com mercial highwavs from the 
coast to the interior had i ts ter niinya aL-JRagusa^while 
the sheltered position Qf its harbouT j and of thatof the 
neighbouring Gravo sa, indicated it as meant by nature 
fof-Jt.. great, cpingiercial centre. ^ Here the Slaves from 
the interior found their nearest market, and the nearest 
spot where civilisation and culture flourished. Ragusa 
was the means of spreading the beginnings of progress 
among the benighted Servian lands, for with the caravans 
of Western goods which made their way into the Herze- 
govina, Bosnia, and Servia, Western ideas penetrated as 
well, and to Ragusa came the sons of Slavonic princelings 
and nobles to be educated. Here there were schools 
where learned professors and famous men of letters from 
Italy taught. Italy came to impart Italian culture to the 
Ragusans and the Slaves. 

Even to-day, when trade follows other routes, and 
Ragusa, no longer a great commercial centre, is reduced 


to a humble position, it is still the meeting point of 
many races. Italians, Bosnians, Herzegovinians, Monte- 
negrins, Albanians, Turks, and Greeks throng its streets 
and piazzas on market days, filling them with brilliant 
costumes. Now that the railway from Mostar and 
Sarajevo has reached Gravosa, there is reason to hope 
that the ancient city of St. Blaize may once more become 
a trading centre of some importance. The prosperity of 
the hinterland which Austria-Hungary has reclaimed to 
civilisation cannot fail to have a favourable effect on 
Ragusa. Had not the Turkish invasion swept over the 
Balkans in the fourteenth, fifteenths an d sixtcentlL-i:£Hr^ ^y 
turies, Ra^usa^s position as a civilising infl uence would 
have been still more considerable. Later its role changed 
to that of intermediary between the Christian Powers and 
the Sultan, and in its history we see reflected on a small 
scale the vast struggle which convulsed Europe for four 
hundred years. 

The second characteristic of Ragusa is its natural ' X 
position. It is one of nature's fortresses, being sur- , 
rounded by the sea on three sides^ ^nd the rocks on 
which it is built drop sheer down to the water's edge. \j 
It seemed indeed a suitable spot on which to er ect a city, 
in days when sec urit y was jhe first, almost^ the only, 
consideration. As we approach Ragusa from the south, 
it stands out a mass of rocks rising up from the sea, 
crowned with towers, bastions, and walls, which have 
defied ages of storm and stress, still imposing, still 

A third feature intimately connected with the last 
is Ragusa's character as a haven of refug e. While all 



— V 



around there was chaos and strife, at Ragusa there was 
peace . The original inhabitants had fled from the ruins 
of Epidaurum and Salona, and fortified themselves here ; 
subsequently other refugees from all parts of the coujitry 
1 helped to inc rease the^ population, for the Jiospitalitj^f 
i Its walls was denied to none. THe Ragusans were ever 
ready, as they proved many a time, to undergo any risk 
rather than give up those who had placed themselves 
under the protection of the rock-built city. Even in 
recent times Ragusa remained true to its past ; when in 
1876-77 there was revolution in the Herzegovina, and 
the savage Turkish soldiery were at their accustomed 
work of massacre and torture, the luckless Christian 
rayahs found shelter and protection at Ragusa, as their 
ancestors had done before them. 

Ragusa was a small city, and its history is all on a 

small scale . At b cst^she can only be regarded as a second- 

class city of th e first rank. In size, wealth, and intel- 

lectual and artistic development she was far inferior to 

the city republ ics of Italy ; but her close proximity to a 

world of barbarism, a nd the vastly important events in 

which she played a jpart, however small, make it loom 

I ^^rg^' Moreover, while the other republics of Dalmatia, 

with the exception of the tiny Poljica, were all absorbed by 

Venice, while those of Italy were a constant prey to civil 

wars, and lost their freedom and even their independ- 

! ence after a few centuries of chequered existence, Ragusa, 

! after two hundred and fifty years of Venetian tutelage 

} with internal autonomy, remained free, now under the 

j nominal protection of this Power, now of that, for 450 

years, actually surviving her mighty rival of the Lagoons. 


The beginnings of Dalmatian history are purely 
legendary, and very little is known of the ethnographical 
character of its original inhabitants. Wanderers from 
pre-Homeric Greece are said to have settled along its 
shores, followed later by the Liburnii, who had been 
driven from Asia, whence part of the country was called 
Liburnia by the Romans. In the seventh century B.C. 
a Celtic invasion took place.^ In the fifth and fourth 
centuries b.c. a number of Greek colonies were planted 
among the islands at Issa (Lissa), Pharos (Lesina), and 
Kerkyra Melaina (Curzola), and others along the coast 
at Epidamnos (Durazzo), Epidauron (Ragusavecchia), 
and Tragyrion (Trail). In the third century lUyria ^ was 
welded by a native ruler into a powerful kingdom, which 
ere long came into contact with the Romans. The 
latter made several attempts to conquer the country, but 
met with' a most stubborn resistance before they finally 
subdued it. In the year 180 b.c. the Dalmatians, a 
people inhabiting the middle part of modern Dalmatia,* 
revolted from the Illyrian kingdom and became inde- 
pendent. Their territory was comprised between the 
rivers Naro (Narenta) and Titius (Kerka) ; beyond the 
latter Liburnia began. During the second and first cen- 

* For traces of the Celtic strain see T. Graham Jackson's Dalmatian 
the Quamero, and Isiria^ vol. i. p. 2. 

* The term Illyria or Illyricum comprises far more than the modem or 
even Roman Dalmatia, and corresponds roughly to the whole eastern 
shore of the Adriatic as far as Dyrrhachium, with a hinterland extending 
to Hungary. 

' Their name is connected with the town of Dalmium or Deminium, 
said by some to have been in the interior, by others on the site of the 
modem Almissa (formerly called Dalmisia). 


turies b.c. the Romans waged no less than ten wars in 
lUyria, which was not completely reduced until the 
year a.d. 9. 

In the meanwhile a number of Latin colonies had 
been settled along the coast, supplanting those of the 
Greeks. Their splendour and importance may be gauged 
from the magnificent Roman remains, especially those of 
the great palace built by Diocletian, himself an Illyrian, 
at Spalato, and of Salona,^ the ancient capital of the 

Roman Dalmatia included besides the modern region 
of that name the whole of Bosnia, the Herzegovina, 
Montenegro, and parts of Croatia and Albania. Dio- 
cletian divided it into two provinces, Dalmatia proper 
to the north, and Praevalis or Praevalitana to the south. 
At the time of the partition of the Roman Empire 
Dalmatia was apportioned to the Western division, the 
neighbouring provinces of Dardania, McEsia Superior, 
and Praevalis to the Eastern. When the barbarian 
hordes began to pour down into Southern Europe the 
latter province remained under Roman rule until early 
in the sixth century, but Dalmatia was conquered in 481 
by Odovakar, and added to the Gothic kingdom of Italy. 
Both these facts emphasise Dalmatia's character as an 
outpost of the West in the Eastern world. But the 
Slaves, the last of the barbarians to march westwards and 
southwards, soon began to press ever more closely against 
the- Roman settlements, and the colonists were driven 
from the interior to the coast towns. From the letters 

* Called the " Dalmatian Pompeii." 


of Pope Gregory I. we see that at his time (590-603) 
Epidaurum, Salona, Doclea, and a few other Roman 
cities still survived. But in 600, in a letter to the Bishop 
of Salona, he expressed great sorrow that Dalmatia was 
hard pressed by the barbarians. " De Sclavorum gente, 
quae vobis imminet, affligor vehementer et conturbor." ^ 
The whole province was becoming desolate. In 535 the 
Byzantine Greeks reconquered it from the Goths together 
with Pannonia. In 539 it was overrun by Huns, Bul- 
garians, and Slaves, liberated by Narses in 552, and 
added to the Exarchate of Ravenna. Later it was made 
into a separate Exarchate ; but after the death of the 
Emperor Maurice the Slaves became masters of the 
greater part of the country. 

When the Eastern Empire was divided into themes, 
the remaining fragments of the Roman colonies on the 
Illyrian shore were erected into the Themes of Dalmatia 
and Dyrrhachium. The former is described at length by 
Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his De Administrando 
Imperio^ written in 949 ; it consisted of little more 
than a few cities and islands, all the rest of the land being 
peopled by barbarians. 

The capital of the Dalmatian theme was no longer 
Salona, which together with Epidaurum had been destroyed 
by the Avars in the seventh century, but Jadera or Zara. 
The other towns of the theme were : Veglia, Arbe, and 
Opsara (comprising Cherso and Lussino) in the Quarnero ; 

* Quoted in Handehstrassen und Bergwerke von Serbien und Bosnien 
wdhrend des Mittelaliers^ by Dr. C. J. JireCek, Prag, 1879, P* S* 
' Cap. xxix. to xxxvi. 


Tragurium, Spalatum or Aspalathum, and Rhagusium, 
founded by refugees from Salona and Epidaurum; 
Decatera (Cattaro), Rosa (Porto Rose), and Butova 
(Budua). The theme was governed by a Greek 
Strategos residing at Zara (Jadertinus Prior), and by 
inferior officials (dukes) in the smaller centres. But 
their authority hardly extended beyond the town 

The inhabitants of these cities in the themes of Dal- 
matia and Dyrrhachium were the remains of the Roman 
provincials from all parts of Illyria. Porphyrogenitus 
calls them Romans, as distinguished from the 'Pay/uLaiot 
or Byzantine Greeks. In spite of all subsequent Slavonic 
incursions Latin, and later Italian, always remained the 
official language ; it was also the common language of 
the people all down the coast, save at Ragusa, where 
Slavonic was also spoken at an early date.^ Other frag- 
ments of the Roman population were to be found perhaps 
among the shepherds of the mountains, who were either 
Latins or Latinised descendants of the native Illyrians. 
The Slaves speak of them as together with the town- 
dwellers as Vlachs, which word signifies Italians or 
Rumanians to this day. The townsmen described these 
shepherds as Maurovlachs, i.e. "Sea Vlachs" or '* Black 
Vlachs." * 

The other Dalmatian towns and all the country outside 
the towns were occupied, as we have said, by the Southern 

* Jire^ek, op, «/., p. 4, note. 

* JireCek, IViachen und Maurowlachen, They are now called 
Morlacchi in Northern Dalmatia. 


Slaves. Of these the two principal tribes were the Serblii 
or Serbs and the Chrobatians or Croatians. The latter 
settled in the northern part of the country ; their frontiers 
were the Save, the Kulpa, the Arsia, and the Cetina. 
Their settlement seems to have preceded that of the 
Serbs. They came from the land beyond the Carpathians, 
with the name of which theirs may have been connected. 
Croatia was divided into fourteen iupe or counties, each 
governed by a iupan. The various iupans owed a some- 
what shadowy allegiance to a Grand 2upan, whose title 
was afterwards changed to that of king. The Serbs, who 
issued forth from what is now Galicia, settled in the land 
to the south and east of that of the Croatians, i.e. the 
modern kingdom of Servia, Old Servia, Montenegro, 
Northern Albania, and Dalmatia south of the Cetina. 
For many centuries they recognised no central authority, 
but were divided into tribes, of which the most important 
were the Diocletiani or Docletiani, who occupied what 
is now Montenegro and part of Albania ; the Terbuniotae, 
whose country, called Terbunia or Tribunia or Travunia, 
centres round the modern Trebinje, with the semi-inde- 
pendent southern district of Canale or Canali ; ^ the coast 
north of Ragusa up to the Narenta was occupied by the 
Zachloumoi of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, and was 
called Zachlumje, Zachulmia, Hlum, or Chelmo. It cor- 
responds to the Herzegovina.^ About the Narenta was 
the land of the Narentani (the ^Apevravoi or Uayavot of 
Porphyrogenitus), notorious for their piratical exploits. 

* Jireiek, Handelssirassen^ pp. 22-25. 
' Ibid.^ pp. 25-27. 


This tribe was converted to Christianity much later than 
the other Serbs, whence their name of Pagani. Inland 
was Bosnia, inhabited by various tribes. Still deeper in 
the interior was the territory of the Serbs proper.^ 

Thus by the eighth century we have a series of coast 
towns and a few islands peopled by Latins still under the 
rule of the Eastern Roman Empire set in the midst of 
a country whose inhabitants, if we except the Latin or 
Latinised shepherds, were all Slaves. Imperial influence 
over these townships gradually declined, and at an early 
date they constituted themselves into city-states of the 
Italian type.^ As they grew rich and powerful they 
acquired territory, developed their trade, both sea-borne 
and with the interior, until they were finally absorbed by 
the Venetian Republic. Their conditions are, therefore, 
in many respects similar to those prevailing in the mari- 
time republics of Italy during this period. In Italy 
there was a Latin civilisation, overwhelmed by hordes of 
pagan or partly pagan barbarians. Italy, like Dalmatia, 
is reclaimed to Latin culture by Greek arms, and the 
Greeks rule over it, although constantly fighting the 
armies of the invaders with varying success. There, too, 
city-communities arise on or near the sites of Roman 
cities, modelling their institutions and their laws on 
those of Rome, with certain modifications due to bar- 
barian influences. But here the parallel ends. In Italy 
the barbarian hordes never settled in such large numbers 

* Jirefek, Handelssirassen^ pp. 27-35. 

' Their municipal statutes, some of which have been published, 
present many analogies with those of Italy. 


as wholly to absorb the Latins, whereas the Slaves in 
Dalmatia far outnumbered the colonists, and, save for 
the Latin fringe, the land soon became a Slavonic land. 
Whereas in Italy, Latins and barbarians soon amal- 
gamated — in fact, one may say that the former absorbed 
the latter — in Dalmatia, Latins and Slaves have remained 
distinct and separate to this day, in language, character, 
and ideals. The Latin cities were like islands in a 
Slavonic sea. The relations between the Latins and 
the barbarians in Italy, even before they amalgamated, 
were different from what they were in Dalmatia. In 
Italy the feudal system arose among the Germanic 
peoples, and Germanic lords had Latin subjects and 
serfs, whereas the Slavonic chieftains of Dalmatia had 
no Latin dependents to speak of. The causes of this 
division of race and language, which exercised so deep 
an influence on the history and development of the 
Dalmatian municipiay are not very apparent. They are 
probably to be sought in the diflFerent proportions of 
barbarians to Latins in the two countries. In Italy 
the number of invaders who settled permanently in the 
country was never very great compared with that of 
the Latin inhabitants. The conquered were, therefore, 
soon able to absorb the conquerors, having civilisation 
as well as numbers on their side. But in Dalmatia the 
Slaves were, as we have said, far more numerous than the 
Latin burghers ; and while the former could not absorb 
the communities of the coast, because they were more 
civilised, the latter, being so few in numbers, failed to 
absorb the Slaves. It should, moreover, be remembered 


that even the Latins were originally colonists from an- 
other land, and that the nadve Illyrians, of whom no 
trace now remains in Dalmatia, may perhaps have been 
merged in the Slaves, and helped to swell their 


OF THE CITY (636-1204) 

T XT7E have alluded to the destruction by the Avars 
\\/ of Salona and Epidaurum,^ and the flight of 
^ ^ their inhabitants to the new settlements. Of 
Salona extensive ruins remain, but with regard to the 
site of Epidaurum there is a division of opinion among 
archaeologists. It is generally held that the remains at 
or near the village of Ragusavecchia, a few miles to the 
south-east of Ragusa, are those of the ancient Epidaurum. 
In the neighbouring valley of Canali (Slavonic, Konavli) 
there are the ruins of a Roman aqueduct. The name 
Ragusavecchia corroborates the tradition that it was the 
original home of the Ragusans ; while its Slavonic name, 
Cavtaty is undoubtedly derived from the Latin civifas. 
Some archaeologists, however, have doubts as to this 
point, and Professor Giuseppe Gelcich, than whom no 
greater authority on Dalmatian history exists, is of 
opinion that Epidaurum must be sought for somewhere 
on the Sutorina promontory in the Bocche di Cattaro. 
Fragments of Roman brickwork and mosaic pavement 
have been found there too ; and according to Professor 
Gelcich, the Gmali aqueduct is so built that it must have 

^ This form is preferred by Professor Jirttek tQ Fpidaunis. 



served a city farther south than Ragusavecchia. On 
the other hand, the statements of the classical writers, 
especially of Pliny, seem to bear out the general opinion, 
which is, in fact, based on them. 

The exact date of the incursion of the Avars and of 
the destruction of Epidaurum has also been the sub- 
ject of controversy. According to some writers, among 
whom are the native historians of Ragusa, the city was 
destroyed by the Goths in the third century a.d. But 
documents written between the third and the seventh 
centuries mention it as still existing. Constantine 
Porphyrogenitus speaks of Ragusa as having been 
founded by refugees from Salona five hundred years before 
his own time, i.e. about 449.^ But Pope Gregory I. is 
the last writer who alludes to Epidaurum, so that it was 
evidently not destroyed before 603. The geographer of 
Ravenna, who flourished in the eighth century, is the 
first to mention Ragusa. The Avars made their first 
appearance in Dalmatia in the year 597-598.^ They 
belonged to the same Tartar group as the Huns, and 
their path was marked with the same ruin and destruction. 
At one time they were in the service of Justinian, but 
under his successors they became so powerful and insolent 
that the Greek emperors might almost be regarded as 
the vassals to the Chagan of the Avars. In 597 they 
raided Dalmatia and destroyed over forty towns ; and 
during the next thirty years they conquered the whole 

1 *A0* 00 U dwb ZoXcSra fUTifxricap tls *'Pao6etotf, elalp irrj 0' (500) m6cP< ^V* 
ci/jfupo¥, ffrtf IpiucTiuifos ipS6fi7i9 Irovt ,S'vp^{64$7 A.M. = 949 A.D.)* -D^ A dm. 
/mp.f cap. xxix. 

• §afaHk, Slawische Alterthiimery ii. 238 ; J. B. Bury, " History of 
the Later RoiPan Empire,'' vol. ii. Book IV. Part II. chap. iv. 


country, with the exception of some of the coast settle- 
ments, unimpeded by the Greeks^jgho were then occupied / 
with the Saracens. In 619 thev ugStroved Salona. whose 
inhabitants, or at least such of them as escaped from t he 
fur^of the barbarians ^ for the most part t ook refuge in 
the walls of Diocl etian's palace at Spa l^to^ . -Ai t a few . y 
wandered southwards and esublishcd th^mad^YCS-JMi^lIL 
island r pcJs;^ where Ragusa nqy gja nds. _ ^bout the year 
6^6 the Avars swept down Qii.Epidaurum.and razed it 
to the grou n d, the surviving : inhabitants jflvinp^ tn Rap^wsa. 
This year is gen eral ly acce pted a s the date of the city'-s _ 
birth. A n all probability, however, it was not founded 
at any definite period, but arose gradually through the 
influx of refugees from all parts of Southern Dalmatia, 
from a fishing village into a town. The original settl eg 
yere nearly all T.atins^ gnd it was not until later that a 
certain, number of Slaves. lEcre.iulmiUcd.^ 

The traditional origin of the name Ragusa is con- 
nected with the situation of the town on a precipitous 
ridge. According to Porphyrogenitus, it is derived 
from Xai;, a precipice, and was originally Lausa. The 
L changed to R, and it became Rausa or Rhausion. 

^ Constantine Porphyrogenitus says that the Slaves (whom he mixed 
up with the Avars) had destroyed r6 Kdarpov Tllravpai the inhabitants being 
mostly killed or captured. The survivors fled, and on an inaccessible 
rock founded the new city of'FaoOaiop. In a Slavonic document quoted 
by Jireiek (^. r//., p. 9, note 20) there is a native account of the founda- 
tion of Ragusa. The ancient Ragusa, it says, stood rta Captate (at 
Cavtat), and possessed the whole iupa of Canali ; when the city fell and 
was destroyed, " the lords of Chum and Rascia " occupied this iupa^ and 
the inhabitants of the city took refuge on a strong place, where they 
founded the modern Ragusa. These are other more or less legendary 


€6^^ ^ -^ 



t • 



According to Professor Jire&k/ this derivation is quite 
inaccurate. The rocky seaward ridge, even in the th'u"- 
teenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, were called 
Lahe or Laue^ from the Latin word lahes^ a downfall or 
precipice. The form Ragusa is found in William of 
Tyre, and in the Arabic writer Edrisi (i 153). Later we 
find the form Rausa^ and in the fifteenth century Raugia^ 
and occasionally Ragusium. The Slavonic name Dubrovnik 
is said to be derived from duhrava^ a wood. This etymo- 
logy does not sound unlikely, as there is a wood in close 
proximity to the town, a rarity in this part of the world. 
But Professor Jire&k says that from Dubrava the original 
form should have been Dubravnik^ and this appears no- 
where. The Presbyter Diocleas writes : " Dubrounich, 
id est Silvester sive silvestris, quoniam quando eam aedifi- 
caverunt, de silva venerunt." Whatever may be the 
philological value of these traditions, they indicate the 
double character {i.e. Latin and Slavonic) of Ragusa in 
the early, if not in the earliest times. 

Ragusa is situated on the coast of Southern Dalmatia, 
about forty kilometres to the north-west of the Bocche 
di Cattaro.^ It is built partly on a precipitous rocky 
ridge jutting out into the Adriatic, and partly on the 
mainland, ascending the steep slopes of the Monte Sergio. 
The original town was limited to the seaward ridge, 
which was formerly an island divided from the main- 
land by a marshy channel where the Stradone now runs. 
There was also a settlement of Bosnians or Vlachs on 

' op. cit.^ p. 10. 

^ A deep inlet surrounded by high mountains at the extreme south of 
modern Dalmatia. 


the Monte Sergio opposite. The ridge slopes gradually I 
up from the channel, but drops sheer down on the side ^ 
towards the sea. In an old drawing preserved in the 
library of the Franciscan monastery at Ragusa we see 
the town as it was when it only occupied the ridge. It 
is surrounded by a wall, and divided into two parts by 
another wall. Three extensions of the walls are re- 
corded previous to the beginning of the twelfth century, 
rendered necessary by the number of fugitives who took 
refuge within its walls in ever-increasing numbers. " The 
original city," writes Professor Gelcich, " was limited to 
the centre of the northern slope of the ridge now called 
Santa Maria, which, separating from the Monte Sergio, 
stretches forth in an opposite direction to that of the 
neighbouring peninsula of Lapad ; it comprised the 
quarter of the town between the diocesan seminary and 
the street leading from the Chiesa del Domino to the 
summit of the ridge." ^ The earliest extensions were the 
suburbs of GariSte and Pustijerna, the former on the 
western side, the latter to the east, reaching as far as the 
harbour. Thus the whole rock was occupied and sur- 
rounded by a wall. The channel which divided it from 
the mainland soon became a marshy field, and finally 
dried up. As a protection against the Slavonic settle- 
ment on the Monte Sergio a castle was built by the sea, 
on the site of the present rector's palace, guarding the 
bridge to the mainland.^ Later the Bosnian colony was 
also absorbed, and the town walls were extended to the 
circuit which they now occupy. 

^ Gelcich, Dello Sviluppo Civile di Ragusa^ p. 6. 

' The castle and bridge are both indicated in the drawing. 



Of the various groups of refugees who settled within 
the hospitable walls of Ragusa we have fairly reliable 
accounts. Porphyrogenitus mentions the earliest of 
these immigrations, and also gives us the names of the 
most prominent among the newcomers : Arsaphios, 
Gregorios, Victorinos, Vitalios, Valentinos the arch- 
deacon, and Valentinos the father of the Protospathar 
Stephen. All these have unquestionably a Latin sound ; 
they were probably Roman provincials from the minor 
Dalmatian townships destroyed by the barbarians. Be- 
sides the Latin refugees, at an early date a certain 
number of Slaves, who preferred the quiet life and 
safety of Ragusa to the constant turmoils and disorders 
among their own people, added to the population. The 
Anonymous Chronicle of Ragusa^ describes several of 
these immigrations : — 

" 690. Many people came to Ragusa with all their 
goods from Albania and the parts of Bosna, because 
many in Bosna were partisans of Duchagini,' and wished 
to save themselves from being accused (punished).** 

This evidently refers to a civil war, but the date 
given is much too early : it is not likely that the Ragusans 
would have admitted barbarians within their walls so 
soon after the destruction of Epidaurum : — 

"691. There came to Ragusa the men of two castles 
on the mainland, from Chastel Spilan and Chastel 
Gradaz,' and they all made their dwellings on the 

^ Published by the South-Slavonic Academy of Agram in the same 
volume as Ragnina's chronicle. A small part of it is quoted by Gelcich, 
op. dt. 

' There is an Albanian tribe of the name of Dukadjin, south of Scutari. 

• They have not been identified. 


coast, for they were of the race of Epidaurum destroyed 
by the Saracens/* ^ 

This obviously refers to the Latin colonists mentioned 
by the Imperial historian : — 

"743. Many people came from Bosna with much 
wealth, for the king, Radosav, was a tyrant, and lived 
according to his pleasure : Murlacchi from the Narenta 
also came, and Catunari,* among whom there was a chief 
above all the others ; they came with a great multitude 
of cattle of all sorts : to them was assigned the mountain 
of Saint Serge as a pasture, for it was so covered with 
trees that one could not see the sky, and so much timber 
was there that they made beams for their houses." 

Of the first two centuries of Ragusan history little is 
known. The town, like the other Latin communities of 
Dalmatia, at first formed part of the Eastern Empire. 
Heraclius had abandoned all the rest of the country to 
the Slaves, and even in the coast towns Imperial authority 
was becoming ever more shadowy. Under Michael II 
Balbus they were granted what practically amounted to 
autonomy, and they constituted themselves, as we have 
said, into municipia of the Italian type, while inland 
Dalmatia became part of Charlemagne^s Empire (803), 
to whom also some of the coast towns, including Zara, 
owed allegiance.' Ragusa, although still small, was 

* In several early accounts it is said that the Saracens helped the 
Avars to destroy the city by attacking from the sea, but there is no 
satisfactory evidence on the subject. 

' Head of a farm ; katun in modem Croatian signifies dairy ; it is a 
neo-Latin word. 

' Venice, whose connection with the Eastern Empire was somewhat 
similar to that of the Dalmatian cities, now recognised Charlemagne's 


increasing. At that time, with a world of barbarism all 
round, with everlasting wars between the various Slavonic 
tribes of the interior, there was indeed an opening for 
such a haven of refuge as this city offered. 

We can picture it to ourselves a^ a small settlement 
where all that was civilised in Southern Dalmatia con- 
gregated — the scattered Latins from ruined townships 
and the more progressive Slaves. It was a beacon in 
the darkness, a spot where the peaceful and the indus- 
trious might pursue their avocations in safety. Of the 
internal constitution of the community in these early 
days, of its laws and customs, we have the meagrest 
information. The only account of them which we 
possess is that given in the Anonymous Chronicle, a 
not very reliable document of a much later date than the 
events recorded. The chief passage on the subject is as 
follows : — 

^' In Ragusa a division of all the people was made. 
. . . Those who were the richest were (appointed) chiefs 
and governors. . . . Each family had its own saint, some 
San Sergio, some this saint, some that. . . . And when 
men had come from Lower Vulasi ( Wallachia),^ a division 
of the citizens was made, each class for itself. Many 
Wallachians were rich in possessions — gold, silver, cattle, 
and other things: among them were many Chatunariy 
each of whom considered himself a count, and had 

supremacy. There was a Byzantine and a Frankish Action. See 
T. Hodgkin's '* Italy and her Invaders," viii. p. 231 ; also H. Brown's 
«* Venice." 

' The passage reads " de ogni Vulasi," from every Vulasi, but the 
emendation '* de donji Vulasi/' from Lower Vulasi or Wallachia {donji 
is Slavonic for lowerX is suggested. 


his own Naredbenizi (stewards). One was master of 
the horse, another looked after the cattle, another after 
the sheep and goats, another managed the household, 
another commanded the servants. But there was one 
chief above all the others, called the Grand Chatunar. 
. . . These Chatunari formed the Sboro (Council or 
Parliament), and for their convenience divided the 
population into three parts : the first was of gentlemen , 
the second of burghers, the third of serfs. Many serfs 
had come from Wallachia with cattle, and it seemed to 
them a mean thing to be called even as the shepherds.^ 
Some attended to the house, some to the horses, some 
to the person of their master, but the latter were few in 
number. The third part was of gentlemen ; for at the 
beginning there were many who had fled from Bosna and 
Albania, and who were not men of low condition, but of 
much account, having been captains or counts or Nared- 
benizi^ and these were of noble origin. . . . Those who 
were gentlemen were made governors of the land or 
were given other oflices, and they alone entered the 
Sboro or General Council. The other part was of the 
people, populani^ from pol vilani^ or half villeins,* for 
although those villeins were of low condition, some were 
in the houses of gentlemen as guardians, and therefore 
enjoyed benefits." 

This account is somewhat confused and diflicult to 
understand. As far as we can make out, the people 
were divided into three classes ; i.e. the nobles, who 
alone formed the Grand Council, and were either the de- 

^ In Southern Dalmatia the word Morlacco is still a term of contempt. 
' This etymology is obviously impossible. 



scendants of the original Latin refugees from Epidaurum 
and Salona, or those among the newcomers who were 
of noble birth ; the middle class, consisting of non-noble 
burghers, the stewards, and chief retainers of the nobles, 
and the men of small property ; the third class, which 
was composed of serfs and of the poorest citizens. 
Over the general assembly presided the head of the 
State, the Byzantine Duke, Prior, or Praeses. After 
Ragusa had made submission to Venice in 998 we find 
Venetian counts instead/ During the intervals when 
the city was independent, and no foreign rulers were 
appointed, the head of the Government was chosen by 
the Council, as it was in after times. But even when 
sent from Venice or Constantinople he does not seem 
to have exercised much direct influence on the internal 
affairs of the Republic. 

Besides the Count and the General Council, there 
was the assembly of the people, or lauJo populi^ to 
whom the decisions of the Council in all the more 
important cases had to be submitted. Lampredius, 
prsses of Ragusa in 1023, sanctioned a decree '^una 
cum omnibus ejusdem civitatis nobilibus," "temporibus 
Sanctorum Imperatorum Basilii et Constantini." Pctrus 
Slabba, prior in 1044, issued another decree, '* temporibus 
piissimi Augusti Constantini scilicet Monomacho . . . 
cum parited nobiles atque ignobiles."^ Thus we have 
the aristocratic principle represented by the council of 
nobles, and the democratic principle by the assembly 
of the people, who were summoned " cum sonitu cam- 

* The first of these was Otho Ursus or Ottone Orseolo. 

* Quoted by Gelcich, op, cit,^ p. 9. 


pane."^ As the constitution evolved, the laudo populi 
gradually dropped into disuse, and Ragusa finally de- 
veloped into a purely aristocratic community on Venetian 

Next in authority to the head of the State was the 
bishop,'' by whom the acts of the Government had to 
be countersigned. The question as to who should 
appoint this dignitary was frequently a subject of dispute 
between the Ragusans and the Venetians, on account of 
his political influence. 

The Ragusans provided for the defence of their 
city by surrounding it with walls, " un muro di masiera 
e travi," ' as Ragnina says, and these fortifications stood 
them in good stead by enabling them to hold out against 
the Saracens, who in 847-848 besieged Ragusa for fifteen 
months. The citizens implored help from the Emperor 
Basil the Macedonian, and he at once sent a fleet, under 
Nicephorus, which relieved the beleaguered city from the 

The Greek Emperors wished to pursue the Saracens 
into Apulia, where they had established themselves, 
and the rendezvous for one part of the expedition was 

^ In the Italian city-republics, besides the head of the State^ the 
Council of nobles, and the assembly of the people, there was also a 
minor or privy council of special advisers. It is very probable that 
there was something of the kind at Ragusa even at this time, as there 
was later. 

' Afterwards the archbishop. 

' " A wall of rubble and beams." 

* Const. Porgh.y cap. xxx. According to tradition, Ragusa had been 
delivered from the Saracens in 783 by Orlando, or Roland the Paladin. 
The legend probably has its origin in a confusion between Charlemagne's 
suzerainty over Dalmatia and the Saracen siege of Ragusa in 847. 
The so called statue of Orlando at Ragusa is of the fifteenth century. 


Ragusa. A large force of Serbs and Croatians in the 
pay of the Empire congregated there, and were trans- 
ported to the Italian shore on Ragusan ships. The 
expedition was successful, Bari being recaptured, and 
the Saracen power in Southern Italy broken.^ This is 
the first mention we have of Ragusan shipping, which 
was afterwards to play so large a part in the history of 
the Levant trade. 

Of all the Slavonic tribes settled in Dalmatia, the 
most lawless and uncivilised were the Narcntans, the 
Arentani or Porphyrogenitus. This hardy race of 
mariners occupied the land about the mouth of the 
Narenta * and the coast,^ between that river and the 
Cetina, besides the islands of Brazza, Lesina, Curzola, 
Lissa, Meleda, and Lagosta. Connected by racial ties 
with the Serbs and the Croatians, they obeyed the laws 
of neither. The ancient lUyrians were famous for their 
piracy, which first called the attention of the Romans to 
the country, and the Narentans proved worthy successors 
of the aborigines. The conformation of the coast with 
its numerous inlets, well-sheltered harbours, safe refuges, 
and countless islands lends itself to this species of occu- 
pation. The Narentans ravaged the coast towns of 
Dalmatia with their swift galleys, plundered peaceful 
merchantmen, and so harried Venetian trade that the 
Republic was forced to pay them blackmail for a hundred 
and fifty years. On more than one occasion it sent its 
fleets to attempt their subjugation, at first with but little 

1 Const. Porgh., cap. xxx. 

* The Naro of the ancients. 

' Primorije in Slavonic, napadoKdaffia, 


success. At the beginning of these wars Ragusa was a 
friendly harbour for the Venetian galleys, their most 
southern port of call in the Adriatic, where they could 
revictual and their crews rest from the fatigues of the 
voyage.^ But the Ragusans very soon began to look 
askance at the Venetians as a possible danger to their own 
independence, and adopted the practice of secretly, or 
even openly, supporting the pirates against the Venetians. 
This naturally caused trouble later when the Venetians 
were strong enough to act energetically against the 
Narentans : it affords a curious insight into the policy 
of the Ragusans, who, while anxious to preserve their 
own civilisation and culture, were never averse to 
siding with barbarians, whether they were Narentans 
or Turks, against Christian Powers, especially against 

As early as the reign of the Doge Giovanni Particiaco I. 
(829-836) the pirates of the Narenta had begun to seize 
Venetian galleys, and his successor, Pietro Tradonico 
(836-864), sent two punitive expeditions against them 
without definite result. After the Venetian fleet had 
been defeated by the Saracens, the Dalmatian corsairs 
were audacious enough to make a raid on the Lagoons. 
In 887 the Doge Pietro Candiano I. sent a first un- 
successful expedition against them, and a few months 
later led a second himself. This too was defeated, and 
the Doge killed. Probably there was another in 948 
under Pietro Candiano III., and this time operations 
were directed against Ragusa itself, if we are to believe 
the native historians, the town being saved only through 

^ Gelcich, op, city p. 2. 


the special intercession of San Biagio/ who henceforth 
became the patron of Ragusa in the place of San 

In the course of the tenth century Ragusa was again 
besieged by barbarians — they were Bulgarians this time, 
under the Tsar Simeon (not Samuel, as had been stated), 
who invaded the western provinces of the Eastern 
Empire. According to Cedren, his attack on Ragusa 
failed,* whereas the Presbyter of Doclea writes that the 
town was burnt. --- 

>/ It was during th is same^century that Ragusa first 

began to acquire territo rial _Ba§§g§slQns> The account of 
the manner of these acquisitions is in part legendary; 
but, according to Prof. Gelcich, it has some substratum 
of fact. Paulimir Belo or Belus, King of Rascia,* having 

^ Serafino Razzi, in his Storia di Raugia^ gives a long account of 
this miracle (cap. x.). The Venetian fleet designed to capture Ragusa 
by treachery, but the plot was revealed to a priest, who thus relates his 
vision : *' I was in the church of St. Stephen about midnight, at prayer^ 
when methinks I saw the whole fane filled with armed men. And in the 
midst I saw an old man with a long white beard holding a staff in his 
hand. Having called me aside, he told me that he was San Biagio, and 
had been sent by Heaven to defend this city. He told me further that 
the Venetians had come up to the walls to scale them, using the masts 
of their ships as ladders, but he, with a company of heavenly soldiers, 
had driven back the enemy ; but he desired that in future the Ragusans 
should defend themselves, and never trust armed neighbours." Ragnina 
dates the event 971. 

' San Bacco had been patron of the Latin settlement on the rocky 
ridge, while the Slavonic colony had been under the protection of the 
Eastern Saint Serge. When the two settlements amalgamated, as neither 
would accept the saint of the other, they compromised by adopting San 

' Cedrenus, vol. i., § 1019, in Migne, vol. 121. 

^ The name Rascia is generally used by old historians as synony- 
mous for Servia, and is derived from the river RaSka in Old Servia. 


been deposed and exiled, took refuge in Rome, and 
married a Roman lady. In 950 he returned to Illyria, 
and landed at Gravosa, near Ragusa, with a large suite 
of Roman nobles. The Ragusans received him with 
great honours, and he in return helped them to enlarge 
their city, and sent a number of his followers, including 
some Romans, to increase the population. After this 
he returned to Rascia and regained his throne. As 
Prof. Gelcich observes, Rome is evidently a mistake 
for Rama, a country which forms part of the Herze- 
govina, and takes its name from a small river tributary 
to the Narenta. A few years later Stephen, Banus of (>/ 
tosnia, and his wife, Margaret, came to Ragusa in order 
to fulfil a vow which the former had made to St. 
Stephen when his wife was ill, that he would visit the 
saint's church in the city if she recovered. As a rew ard 
for the welcome accorded to him by the citizens he gave I 
jhem the districts of Breno^ Bergato (Brgat^ Ombla, 
favosa, Malfi, and part of Gionchetto. 

Nearly fifty years had passed since the last Venetian 
expedition to Dalmatia ; but when the great Doge Pietro 
Orseolo came to the throne in 991, he determined to put 
an end to the depredations of the Narentans once for all. 
The annual tribute which the Venetians had been forced 
to pay to the freebooters only secured a very imperfect 
immunity, and the Adriatic trade was never really safe. 
Orseolo suspended the tribute, and as the Narentans 
at once recommenced their molestations, an expedition 
under Badoer was sent out which destroyed the town 
of Lissa. The Venetian admiral took a great many 
prisoners, but failed to attack the pirates* chief strong- 



t ^ 


hold at Lagosta and the Narenta*s mouth. They 
retaliated on the Latin towns of the coast, and the 
latter, unable to obtain help from their natural pro- 
tector, the Greek Emperor, placed themselves under 
the suzerainty of the Venetians, whom they implored 
to intervene once more. The Croatians, to whom the 
towns in the northern and central parts of the country 
had paid tribute, now declared war on all who obeyed 
the Venetians, ravaged the territory of Zara, and attacked 
the islands of the Quarnero. The Ragusans were then 
tributary to the Serbs, by whom they were surrounded, 
and fearing the Narentans, who were so close at hand, 
separated their cause from that of the rest of Latin 
Dalmatia, and maintained an ambiguous attitude.^ The 
Croatians, not content with terrorising the towns, sent 
ambassadors to Venice to demand the tribute ; but the 
Doge replied : " Non per quemlibet nuntiorum tributum 
remittere euro; sed ad banc persolvendam dationem 
venire ipso non denegabo.*' He at once fitted out 
another expedition on a large scale, which set forth 
under his command on May 9, 1000.* It reached 
Ossero on June 5, and the Doge claimed the homage 
of the Dalmatians as their protector ; this was paid both 
by the Latins and by a number of the Slaves. He then 

* Num Ragusini ab omni jure Veneto a saec . X usque ad saec , XIV 
immunes fuerunt^ thesis by the Abb6 Paul Pisani, Paris, 1893, cap. ii. 

' According to Johannes Diaconus, the expedition started in the 
seventh year of Orseolo's reign, which would be the year 998 ; but 
Monticolo, who edits that writer in his Cronache Antichissime (p. 156, 
note i), observes that Diaconus says that he only heard the news of the 
victory when the Emperor Otho III. came to Pavia in his third descent 
into Italy, ue. July 1000. 


proceeded to Zara, which recognised his authority, and 
the bishops of Arbe and Veglia came to swear fealty 
to him, promising that his praises should be sung in 
the churches after those of the Emperor. Negotiations 
with the Narentans were now opened ; the pirates agreed 
to forego all tributes, and swore to infest the Adriatic 
no longer ; but the moment the Doge's back was turned 
they recommenced their depredations. Orseolo then 
sailed with the fleet for Beograd ^ (Zaravecchia), the 
residence of the Croatian king. The terrified inhabi- 
tants paid him homage, and he prepared to strike a 
decisive blow at the Narentans. He sailed down the 
coast and received the submission of Trau and Spalato, 
and on hearing that forty Narentan " nobles " (pirate 
captains) were returning from Apulia, some of his 
galleys lay in wait for them, and captured them ofl^ the 
island of Cazza. The Narentans then sued for peace, 
which was granted them on a promise of future good 
behaviour, and all the prisoners were liberated save six, 
who were retained as hostages. The pirates on the 
islands of Curzola, Lesina, and Lagosta still held out. 
The first two were easily captured, but the Lagostans, 
hearing that the Doge meant to raze their stronghold 
to the ground, made a desperate resistance. The 
Venetians and their Dalmatian allies attacked the town, 
poured in through a breach in the walls, and put all 
the inhabitants to the sword. After the capture of 
this important fortress the power of the Narentans was 

* The name Beograd or Belgrad, />. white city, is a very common 
one in Slavonic lands. 


broken, and the whole of Dalmatia lay at Orseolo's 

With regard to the subsequent proceedings and the 
dedition of Ragusa there is considerable divergence of 
opinion between Venetian and Ragusan writers. The 
latter wish to prove that their city remained independent, 
at all events until the beginning of the thirteenth century, 
whereas the Venetians affirm that in 998 (1000) Ragusa 
made full submission to Venice. 

The first account of this dedition is that of Johannes 
Diaconus, who writes : " This (the capture of Lesina, 
Curzola, and Lagosta) having been accomplished, the 
victorious prince repaired to the church of St. Maximus ; 
there the Archbishop of Ragusa and his suite came and 
did great homage to the said prince, all partaking of the 
sacrament." Dandolo uses almost identical language, 
and Sabellico adds that the Archbishop and the Ragusan 
envoys made formal submission to the Doge and the 
Venetians,^ and that counts were appointed to govern 
the Dalmatian towns, Ottone Orseolo being chosen for 
Ragusa. To this a Ragusan writer, calling himself 
"Albinus Esadastes dc Vargas" (whom Pisani declares 
to be Sebastiano Dolci,^ a Ragusan monk of the seven- 
teenth century)^ in a work entitled Libertas perpetua 
reip, Ragusine ab omni jure Venete reipub^ replies that 
the church of St. Maximus must mean that of Masline 

' "Seque suosque Orseolo Venetoque nomini dedunt." Sabellico, 
Historia rerum Venetarum^ Dec. I. lib. iv. cap. 3. 

' This pseudonym is an anagram for Sebastianus Slade de Ragusa ; 
Slade is Slavonic for sweets =</£?/^'. 

* MS. in the Museo Correr at Venice, quoted by Pisani, i>p, cit,^ 
introd. There is a copy at Zara and one at Ragusa. 


at Lesina, and that this island is so far that the Ragusan 
envoys would hardly have come there to tender their 
submission. Jadesta, which is also alluded to, does not 
exist. The Ragusans, who had resisted other attacks, 
both by the Venetians and the Saracens, so valiantly, 
would not have surrendered now without striking a 
blow; and, moreover, the Greek Emperors, Basil and 
Constantine, would not have authorised the submission. 
With regard to the first and third objections, it is most 
probable that when the fate of Lagosta had become 
known to the Ragusans they would have gone to tender 
their submission to Orseolo wherever he happened to be. 
Jadesta is simply an old name for Lagosta. As for the 
Greek Emperors, they were far too much occupied in 
holding their own against the Bulgarians to be able to 
make any objections. The former attacks on Ragusa 
had all been on a small scale, whereas this expedition was 
a large and well-equipped force, against which it would 
have been madness for the tiny Ragusa to resist. Then 
**Esadastes" shifts his ground, and asserts that the 
envoys went to the Doge merely to reclaim a ship cap- 
tured by the Venetians, and that they actually threatened 
reprisals on the part of the Emperors if satisfaction were 
refused. But it is most unlikely that for so trifling a 
cause the Archbishop and chief citizens would have been 
sent to the Doge. This version, however, is accepted 
by Mauro Orbini.^ Ragnina does not even mention the 
expedition. Resti^ says that Ottone Orseolo was sent 
to Ragusa merely to make a commercial treaty ; but as 

* Regno degii SUnn, 

' Chronica RaguHna^ edit South-Slav. Acad., p. 272. 




Pisani observes, if the magistrates appointed to the other 
Dalmatian towns were sent to govern them, there is no 
reason to suppose that an exception was made for Ragusa. 
There is, on the whole, the strongest evidence that Ragusa 
did actually submit to Venetian supremacy, together with 
the other coast towns, in looo, and received a Venetian 
governor. Local usages and laws, however, were re- 
spected, according to the Venetian practice of the time ; 
nor was Imperial authority wholly disregarded, and 
prayers for the Emperor continued to be sung in the 
churches of Ragusa. 

Venetian rule was not of long duration. On the 
death of Pietro Orseolo in 1008, his son Ottone became 
Doge ; and during this reign a strong opposition to the 
house of Orseolo was aroused, which ended with Ottone's 
expulsion in 1026. During the reign of his successor, 
Pietro Centranico, faction feuds broke out, greatly 
weakening the Republic, and the Dalmatian towns re- 
volted, as Venetian suzerainty was of use to them only 
so long as Venice was powerful. Some of them went 
over to Dobroslav, prince of the Tribunian Serbs, and 
elsewhere Byzantine authority revived. Thus in 1036, 
instead of a Venetian count at Zara, we find Gregory, 
Jadcrtinus Prior, Pro-consul and Imperial Strategos for 
all Dalmatia.^ But his authority was disputed by the 
Croatians, whose sovereign now proclaimed himself King 
of Dalmatia.* Against this act the Venetians issued a 
protest, and the Doge Domenico Contarini (i 043-1 071) 
reasserted the authority of the Republic. 

* Prospetto Cronologico delta Dalmasia, p. 112. 

' This title is now borne by the Emperor of Austria. 


In the year 107 1 the Normans from Apulia made 
their first appearance in Dalmatia; they crossed the 
Adriatic, and threatened the Eastern Empire. The 
Emperor Alexius Comnenus having implored the help 
of the Venetians, the Doge Selvo set sail for Dyrrhachium 
in command of a fleet. Alexius had also asked help of 
the Ragusans, who were now practically independent ; 
but they feared the Normans more, and cast in their lot 
with them. The Grseco- Venetian fleet encountered the 
Normans ofl^ Dyrrhachium ; but in spite of the valour 
displayed by the allies they were defeated, and the town 
fell into the enemies' hands. It is said that the Ragusan 
contingent distinguished itself by hurling clouds of arrows, 
which wrought much havoc among the Venetians.^ As 
a reward they obtained important commercial privileges 
in Southern Italy. In 1085 the Venetians again attacked 
the Normans, and partially defeated them at Corfu, for 
which action Alexius granted the Doge Vitale Falier the 
Golden Bull, conferring upon him the title of Protose- 
bastus, and created him Duke of Dalmatia and Croatia. 
Thus the Republic regained all its lost influence on the 
eastern shore of the Adriatic. 

Yet another Power now begins to interfere in the 
aflfairs of Dalmatia, a Power which was to play a most 
important part in its subsequent history. In 1091 
Ladislas, King of Hungary, was summoned by the Slaves 
of inland Croatia, who as usual when quarrelling among 
themselves called in foreign aid, and they willingly 
recognised him as their king. He did not wait to be 
asked a second time, but at once entered the province 

^ Gelcich, op, cit,^ p. 3. 


and appointed his nephew, Almus, Count of Cismontane 
Croatia. On his death in 1094 he was succeeded by 
another nephew, Koloman, who in the following year 
crossed the Velebit mountains and invaded Maritime 
Croatia. He defeated and killed the Croatian king, 
KreSimir, at Petrovogora, became master of the littoral 
from Istria to the Narenta, and prepared to conquer the 
Serb states of Rascia and Tribunia. By marrying Busita, 
daughter of King Roger, he allied himself with the 
Normans, and enlisted their help for his schemes. At 
Beograd he crowned himself King of Dalmatia and 
Croatia. These conquests were not at all to the taste 
of the Ragusans, who had every interest in the main- 
tenance of a number of weak but independent Slavonic 
buffer States at their back, whereas they dreaded the 
advance of a powerful military monarchy like Hungary. 
At first they tried to conciliate Koloman with gifts,^ but 
as this availed them little they applied to their old 
enemies, the Venetians ; the latter made a treaty with the 
Hungarian king, by which the Latin municipalities of 
Dalmatia were recognised as outside the Hungarian 
sphere. But it was not respected for long. The Emperor 
Alexius, annoyed with the Venetians for their action in 
the First Crusade and in the Levant generally, intrigued 
with Koloman, and induced him to violate his pledges. 
The Magyar king needed but little pressure, as the con- 
quest of the Dalmatian sea-board was one of his chief 
ambitions. V7hen the Venetians sent their fleet to Pales- 
tine in 1 1 05 he occupied Zara, Trau, and Spalato, 
and forced the citizens to swear fealty to him. The 

^ J. C. von Engel, GtschichU des Freystaates Ragusa^ § 6. 


Ragusans were not disturbed, but they sent him another 
deputation. The Venetians, exhausted with their last 
efforts in the Holy Land, were unable to do anything 
for the moment.^ 

In 1 1 1 6 hostilities recommenced, and ended in 1 1 1 8 
with the defeat of the Venetians, who agreed to a five 
years* truce with Hungary. War broke out again in 
1 1 24, and lasted for several years, with varying success. 
Bela II., who succeeded to Koloman, while the Venetians 
were occupied elsewhere, crossed the Narenta and con- 
quered the Serb principalities of Tribunia, Zachulmia, 
and Rama, and tried to induce the coast towns to rebel 
against Venice. The Ragusans once more applied for 
Venetian help, and even requested that Venetian counts 
should be sent to govern them. Both requests were 

Of the next twenty-eight years of Ragusan history 
there is little to tell. " Esadastes " mentions the names 
of four Venetian counts — Marco Dandolo, Cristiano 
Pontestorto, Jacopo Doseduro or Dorsoduro, and Pietro 
Molina. Resti mentions a plague in 1145, which, he 
says, carried off three-quarters of the inhabitants, evidently 
an exaggeration. In 1 148, according to the same writer, 
the Servian Prince Dessa, ancestor of the Nemanjas, 
granted the island of Meleda to three Benedictine monks, 
with the provision that its civil government should be 
entrusted to Ragusa. This is the most distant posses- 
sion which the Republic had as yet acquired. 

In 1 152 the series of Venetian counts came to an 

^ Between 1096 and 1 105 they had put three hundred ships on the 
sea (Horatio Brown, Venice^ p. 87). 


end/ the last of them having apparently received notice 
to quit from the Ragusans themselves, who sent him 
home in one of their own galleys, with many gifts, as a 
reward, "Esasdastes" says ironically, for having ruled 
the city so well for thirty years ; but he adds the follow- 
ing extract from an early chronicle : — 

" These counts had begun to tyrannise, and, moreover, 
Ragusa being at war with the Bosnians, five hundred 
soldiers who had come from Venice to aid us outraged 
©ur women and committed countless robberies. To free 
the city from them the Council ordered them to be so 
placed in the van of the army that they should all be 
killed. This stratagem having succeeded, they sent the 
Venetian rector back to Venice." 

Whether this story be true or not, it is characteristic 
both of the customs of the time and of the feelings with 
which the Ragusans ever regarded the Venetians. For 
the latter and their government no native historian ever 
has a good word to say. 

The reason why the Venetians submitted so tamely 
to being turned out of Ragusa lies in the general situa- 
tion of aflfairs in Dalmatia. In 1148 Venice had formed 
an alliance with the Emperor Manuel Comnenus against 
the Normans, whose incursions in the Adriatic consti- 
tuted a menace for both Powers; but Venetians and 
Greeks were on the worst of terms, and at the siege of 
Corfu the Emperor's name had been grossly insulted. 
Manuel vowed vengeance on his allies, an4 sent emissaries 
to stir up the Dalmatians against Venice. The latter 
was at war on the mainland with Hungary and in Syria, 

' Serafino Razzi, Storia di Raugia, 


and therefore found it expedient to ignore the Dalmatian 
question for the time being. Venetian authority, how- 
ever, did not cease altogether even at Ragusa, where 
Venetians continued to be appointed as archbishops. 
Thus in 11 50 or 1151 the dignity was conferred on a 
certain Domenico of Venice, and in 1153 on another 
Venetian named Tribuno; the latter in 1155 made 
formal submission to the Patriarch of Grado, with the 
consent of the clergy and people of Ragusa.^ The town / 
continued, in fact, to be regarded as one of those under j 
Venetian protection, or, at least, as friendly to the Re- I 
public of the lagoons. * 

In 1 1 69 Manuel Comnenus determined to conquer 
Dalmatia, and even Italy. He sent a squadron up the 
Adriatic to molest Venetian shipping, and encouraged 
corsairs to do the same. The Imperial fleet occupied the 
towns protected by Venice, treating them as conquered 
territory. Ragusa too was occupied, and was doubtless not 
unwilling to get rid of all Venetian authority ; the Imperial 
standard was raised on a tower expressly built for the 
purpose. On March 7, 1 171, the Emperor had all the 
Venetians at Constantinople arrested and their property 
seized. Venice immediately declared war, and, in spite 
of the scarcity of men and money, a fleet of one hundred 
and twenty ships, to which ten Dalmatian galleys were 
added, was fitted out in a hundred days.* It set sail 
in September under the command of the Doge Vitale 
Michiel, and most of the Dalmatian towns willingly 

* Romanin, Sioria Documentata di Venezia, torn. viii. p. 455, seq»; 
Farlati-Coleti, Illyricum Sacrum^ vi. 60-80. 

* H. Brown, op, cii.^ p. 10 r. 


returned to Venetian suzerainty/ Ragusa too surrendered, 
though not without resistance, and the event is thus 
described in the Cronaca Altinate : * — 

** The Ragusans, who, like the others (Dalmatians), 
were under oath of fealty to the lord Doge, would not 
go forth to do him homage, but they came out in arms 
as though to insult the host. Wherefore the Venetians, 
in high dudgeon, marched against them, and pursued 
them even to the gates of the city. The same day, at 
the ninth hour, they began the attack with so much 
vigour that many of the citizens were killed, and, having 
stormed the battlements, they captured some of the 
towers, on which they raised the ducal standards. The 
assault was kept up with great energy until evening. At 
dawn on the following morning, while men and machines 
were being prepared for the battle, Tribuno Michiel, the 
Archbishop of Ragusa, issued forth from the city with the 
clergy and the nobles bearing crosses, and they cast them- 
selves at the feet of the Doge, imploring mercy for 
themselves and all the citizens, and declaring that they 
and their city made full submission. The Dc^e, calm 
and prudent, was moved by pity, and on the advice of 
his followers received them. And all the citizens sang 
the praises of the D(^e, and all who were above twelve 
years of age swore the oath of fealty to him and his 
successors. In addition, they provided money and wine 
for each galley, and in obedience to the Doge*s orders 
demolished part of their walls, that tower which had 

^ Spalato, however, remained subject to the empire until Manuel's 
death in 1180. 

* In the Archivio Storico ItalianOy viii. 154, lib. v. 


been expressly built for the Emperor. They consented 
that their archbishopric should be subject to the 
Patriarchate of Grado, provided that the Pope per- 
mitted it/ When these things had been accomplished 
the Doge appointed the noble youth Raynerius Joannes 
(Renier Zane or Zen) as Viscount, and set sail with his 
fleet for Romania." * 

Dandolo's account is almost identical, and so is that 
of Sabellico, save that the latter does not mention the 
actual storming of the town. He merely says that the 
Ragusans sued for peace through their archbishop, and 
that they themselves demolished the tower on which the 
Imperial standard had been raised. Whichever version 
we accept, it is clear that Ragusa again made full sub- 
mission to the ducal authority, and came once more 
under Venetian supremacy. We must not forget that 
Tribuno Michiel, the archbishop, was a Venetian, and 
probably there was a Venetian party in the city as well 
as a Byzantine party. When it became evident that the 
Venetians were in earnest, the faction which favoured 
them at once prevailed. " Esadastes," as usual, casts 
doubts on the whole story, because Dandolo and Sabellico 
do not agree as to the attack, but he does not even 
mention the account of the Cronaca Altinate. Resti 
denies the submission altogether. It should be remem- 
bered that whereas Dandolo and the author of the Altinate 
Chronicle wrote barely a century after the events related, 

■* - •• 

* This stipulation appears in nearly all the subsequent treaties t>r : : : 
dedition by which Ragusa surrendered to Venice. By this act the Ragu- - - 
san Church came under the authority of a Venetian prelate. 

* By Romania, mediaeval historians mean the Eastern Empire. 


the Ragusan historians flourished in the sixteenth, seven- 
teenth, and eighteenth centuries, and wrote with the 
express purpose of combating all Venice's claims over 

But, as before, the surrender did not greatly affect 
the internal aflFairs of the city, which continued to be 
managed by the citizens themselves. Nor did Venetian 
suzerainty last long. The campaign against the Eastern 
Empire ended most disastrously ; the fleet was decimated 
by disease, and returned to Venice in 1172 a complete 
wreck. Venetian influence in Dalmatia was greatly re- 
duced in consequence, while that of the Empire revived 
proportionately, and lasted until Manuel's death in 11 80. 
The country was, however, regarded as still in a measure 
connected with Venice, and in the treaty of peace which 
the latter made with William of Sicily in 1175 he pro- 
mised not to invade " the lands which are under the 
rule of the Doge of Venice and of the Venetians," ^ and 
Dalmatia was included among these. 

In the meanwhile Ragusa was developing international 
relations of a different character, i.e. with the Slavonic 
principalities of the interior. In the earliest times 
Ragusan territory was limited to a small part of the 
actual city, and for a long time did not extend beyond 
the walls. Constantine Porphyrogenitus informs us 
that it bordered on the two states of Zachulmia and 
Tribunia. The vineyards of the Ragusans were on the 
J,.: r territory of these tribes, and the citizens paid a yearly 
'i ' t tribute of thirty-six numismata (gold pieces) to the Prince 
of Zachulmia, and as much to the Prince of Tribunia.* 

* Uber Pactorum^ ii. p. 117, v. * Op. cit.^ cap. 3a 


As the population increased they gradually extended 
their cultivation to the whole of these districts. The 
Tribunian vineyards were in the !Zupa of Zrnovica 
(Breno); those of Zachulmia in the Zupa of Rijeka 
(Ombla), as far as Malfi, and in that of Poljice.^ The 
tribute which the Ragusans paid for this privilege was 
called margarisium or magarisium ; ^ its value varied con- 
siderably. In 1363 that due to the Zachulmians was 
of sixty ipperperi^ paid by the owners of the vineyards in 
proportion to the extent of their holdings. The Zach- 
ulmians, on their side, sent a cow, called the vacca di 
margarisioy which was divided between the Count of 
Ragusa and some of the hni homines (^optimates) of the 
city. Later, instead of one animal, several were sent.' 
Besides the tribute, the Ragusans paid a tithe in kind to 
the Slave princelings. From time to time they made 
special treaties with their neighbours, usually of a com- 
mercial character. By one of these, which Resti dates 
831,* Svetimir, King of Bosnia, agreed to send 50 oxen, 
500 sheep and goats, and 200 loads of oats to Ragusa, 
and to treat the Ragusans in his territory as though they 
were his own subjects, while they were to send him four- 
teen braccia^ of red cloth. This indicates the city's 
economic position, which enabled it to send manufac- 
tured articles from the west into the Balkan lands, 
while it bought from the latter the cattle and foodstuffs 
which its own limited territory could not provide. Even 

' Jire^ek, op, city p. 12. 

^ According to Miklosich, the word is of Arabic origin. 

' Jireiek, op. cit, 

* Probably this is too early. 

^ A braccio is about an ell. 


in later times most of the grain consumed by the Ragusans 
was imported from abroad. 

Relations with the Slaves, however, were not always 
of so peaceable a character, and the Ragusans were often 
engaged in little wars with their turbulent neighbours. 
The gradual extension of the Ragusan vineyards was a 
fertile source of dispute {lis de vineis)^ as the Republic 
claimed and finally obtained by prescription the right to 
govern the territory in question. Another cause of dis- 
pute was the arrest and ill-treatment to which Ragusan 
merchants were often subjected when travelling in the 
interior. At other times the Ragusans aroused the ire 
of the neighbouring princes by giving shelter to their 
rebellious subjects. The story of Bodino, in spite of its 
legendary character, illustrates this very clearly. This 
Slavonic prince, having deposed his uncle, Radoslav,* and 
made himself King of Dalmatia and Croatia, conquered 
Bosnia and Servia. But he wished to get rid of Rado- 
slav*s sons, who still ruled over a small territory on the 
river Drina. In this he succeeded by treachery, but their 
children managed to escape to Ragusa, and placed them- 
selves under the protection of the Republic. Bodino 
demanded that they should be given up to him, and on 
the refusal of the Ragusans he besieged their city for 
seven years. At the end of this time, finding that his 
efforts were useless, he put his cousins to death, and 
retired with the bulk of his army. But in order to 
molest Ragusa he built a castle at the head of the bridge 
connecting the town with the mainland, and left a small 
containing force behind. The Ragusans obtained pos- 

^ Jire^ek, ibid, ^ The name is sometimes spelt Kadosav. 


session of this stronghold by the following stratagem. 
After having bribed the commanders of the garrison 
by promising them land and honours in the city, they 
allowed a large consignment of wine to fall into the 
hands of the enemy ; while the latter were making 
merry on it the burghers issued forth and put them all 
to the sword. The castle was destroyed, and the church 
of San Niccol6 in Prijeki^ erected on its site. These 
events are recorded as having occurred some time during 
the eleventh or twelfth century, but the accounts are by 
writers who lived several hundreds of years later. Prob- 
ably there were wars with the Slaves in which incidents 
of a similar character occurred, but the seven years' siege 
is pure fiction, and the name of Bodino is not found in 
any history of the Serbs or Croatians. 

Another Servian war, on which we possess somewhat 
more reliable information, is that which broke out in 
1 1 84 between the Ragusans and Stephen Nemanja, King 
of the Serbs. An army commanded by the King himself 
attacked the city from the land side,* while a fleet under 
his brother, Miroslav, attacked it by sea. The citizens, 
under Michele Bobali, completely defeated the besiegers, 
who were ignorant of siege operations and quite unpro- 
vided with necessaries. On the Feast of the Three 
Martyrs,' September 27, 11 86, peace was concluded.* 

* Prijeki means " beyond " in Serb, and the church was so called 
because it was beyond the channel. 

* The figures given by Engel (§ 19)^20,000 horse and 30,000 foot — 
are probably exaggerated. 

' The Three Martyrs of Cattaro were saints murdered by the heathen, 
or, as some assert, by heretics. 

* The treaty is published in the Monum^ specU Historiam Slav^ 
Merid,^ Agram, vol. i. Document xviL 


Both sides agreed to forget past injuries, and Nemanja 
granted the Ragusans permission to trade in all parts of his 
dominions, while his own subjects were to be protected 
at Ragusa; but it was also stipulated that rebels should 
be prevented from using the city as a place in which to 
conspire against their sovereign. There was another 
stipulation, that should the King or his brother ever need 
a safe refuge, Ragusa should be open to them — a clause 
found in many subsequent treaties. 

Venice in all that concerned Ragusans relations with 
the Slave states allowed the citizens to do as they pleased, 
even during the period when Venetian counts presided 
over its government. It was only in questions con- 
cerning maritime aflairs that the Queen of the Adriatic 
asserted her authority over Ragusa from time to time. 

This same year the Normans made another raid into 
Dalmatia, and occupied Ragusa and several other coast 
towns. Norman rule lasted until 1 190, and does not 
seem to have left any traces beyond a few documents. 
The treaty of peace, dated September 27, 1186,^ was 
drawn up "at the court of the most glorious King 
William and of the lord archbishop Tribunus, in the 
presence of Tasilgard, the Royal Chamberlain, of all the 
nobles, of Gervase the count (of Ragusa), and of all the 
people." This shows that Ragusa was under a Norman 
count. Document xxii. of the Monumenta spectantia 
Historiam Slavorum Meridionalium is a treaty of peace 
between Ragusa and the Cazichi (another name for the 
Narentan, pirates) : "And on the side of the Ragusans, 
Gervase the count swore to preserve this peace, without 

^ See ante. 


prejudice to his sovereign lord. ... In the year of our 
Lord (1190), in the month of February, on the day of 
St. Blaize (the 3rd), the Assembly having been summoned 
by Gervase the count to the sound of the bell, we decided,** 
&c. Document xxiii., dated June 13, 11 90, is a treaty 
between this same count of Ragusa and Miroslav, Prince 
of the Serbs, in which Gervase promises that the latter 
should receive hospitality at Ragusa if he ever required 
it, salvo Sacramento domini nostri regi Tancredi. 

The occupation of Ragusa by the Normans is evi- 
dently an episode in the wars which they waged against 
the Eastern Empire, and the town was probably seized 
merely as a basis for further operations. Gervase, who 
ruled the whole time, does not seem to have been an 
absolute despot, as the consent of the Assembly was re- 
quired for all the acts of the Government. Norman rule 
in Dalmatia did not survive the death of Tancred and 
the consequent collapse of the Sicilian kingdom in 1 190. 
In documents of a date posterior to this, such as the 
treaty with Fano in 1199/ with Ancona* of the same 
year, with Bari of 1201,* and with Termoli of 1203,* no 
mention either of Venetian or Norman counts is made, 
so that we may conclude that for the time being Ragusa 
enjoyed freedom from foreign rulers. 

But Venice was preparing to re-occupy the whole of 
Dalmatia, and the Fourth Crusade of 1202 provided her 
with the desired opportunity. The Crusaders began 
their expedition to the Holy Land by storming and sack- 
ing Zara, where they wintered. In 1204 they captured 
Constantinople, subverted the Greek Empire, and set 

* IMiLy xxvi. • /foV/., xxvii. * Ibid,^ xxviii. * Ibid,^ xxix. 




up the ephemeral Latin Empire of the East in its place, 
with Baldwin of Flanders as Emperor. The Doge of 
Venice, Enrico Dandolo, the prime mover and leader 
of the expedition, became " lord of a quarter and a half 
of Romania." In 1205 the Venetians^ at the hei ght of 
their power, demanded the suhniission of Ragusa^. which 
was at once Jendered^ Dandolo (the historian) thus 
describes this fourth surrender : — 

"Tommaso Morosini, who had been nominated 
Patriarch (of Constantinople) by Innocent III., returned 
to Venice, carrying the Pope's letters ; he set sail with 
a fleet of four triremes and made war against the city 
of Ragusa, who, at the suggestion of the Greeks, had 
rebelled against Venice. The citizens, no longer trusting 
in the strength of the Greeks, surrendered their city to 
the Venetians." 

Two other chronicles^ give similar accounts of the 
event. The indefatigable " Esadastcs '* of course tries to 
prove that Ragusa did not surrender, because the people 
who had held out so bravely and successfully against the 
Saracens 340 years previously would not have tamely sub- 
mitted to a squadron of four ships commanded by a priest. 
The Ragusan apologist, however, forgets the enormous 
prestige acquired by the Venetians as a consequence of 
their exploits in subverting the Eastern Empire, after 
which event Ragusa could not hope to oppose the greatest 
Power in the Adriatic with any chance of success.* 

With .this act s>f . submission ends the first period of 

^ Quoted by Romanin, op. dt,^ loc, cit 

^ A further corroboration, if any were needed, of the surrender is found 
in the treaty of friendship between Stephen, Grand 2upan, and Giovanni 


Ragusan hi sto ry, during wh ich the, passcssioD^ or rather 

suzerainty^ ovsr the CJty.was a ina.ttgr, o£ dispute^^betwega,, 
the Ven etians ajnH^thf^ nree.lcR^ yrith intervals of absolute 
independence, and four years_ of Norman rule. As^ ^/ 

howeve r^ Byzantine .iiiflueiice, not ttecessarily political, 
predominates even in Venice- itself^ we may, call this the 
Byzan tine period. For th^next hundred and fifty years^ 
save for one short interruption^ Ragusa remains under 
Venetia n supremacy^ 

An important question in connection with the growth 
of Ragusa is its ecclesiastical history. Native historians 
have attempted to prove that the city was an archiepis- 
copal see from the earliest times, and that it succeeded 
to Salona, whence some of its first settlers had come, as 
the metropolis of all Dalmatia. This latter contention 
proving quite untenable (the Archbishop of Salona, to- 
gether with the majority of the surviving inhabitants, 
took refuge at Spalato, which became an archiepiscopal 
see in consequence), they declare that the Ragusan arch- 
bishops had succeeded to those of Doclea. That city, 
they assert, had been destroyed by the Bulgarian Tsar 
Samuel, and its archbishop fled to Ragusa, which be- 
came ipso facto an archiepiscopal see. A more accurate 
account is that contained in the Illyricum Sacrum of 
Farlati. Doclea was destroyed, not by Samuel, who 
became Tsar of the Bulgarians in 976, but by Simeon. 
In fact Porphyrogenitus, who wrote in 949, mentions 
the event as having occurred during his own lifetime. 

Dandolo, Count of Ragusa {Mon, SI, Mer,^ vol. i. doc. xxxix.). No date 
is given, but it must be previous to 1222, as in that year Stephen 
received the title of King from Pope Honorius III., whence his designation 
of Prvoviencani^ or First Crowned. 


According to the lUyricum Sacrum the exact date was 
926. John (the archbishop) actually did take refuge 
at Ragusa, where, on the death of the local bishop, he 
succeeded to the see, retaining his superior title by cour- 
tesy. His successors wished to continue in the dignity, 
and even began to assume metropolitan authority, re- 
fusing to obey the archbishop of Spalato. The dispute 
lasted many years, and the bishops of the newly-created 
see of Antivari^ claimed that they were the true suc- 
cessors to the archbishops of Doclea. Pope Gregory VII. 
apparently refers to these contentions in his Epistle to 
Michael, King of the Slaves.^ The Roman Pontiff 
hereby summons " Peter, bishop of Antivari, the bishop 
of Ragusa, and other suitable witnesses, by means of 
whom the contention between the archbishop of Spalato 
and Ragusa' may be judicially examined and canonically 
defined," to repair to the Holy See. What Gregory's 
decision was we arc not informed, but in the end the sec 
of Ragusa was separated from that of Spalato and erected 
into an archbishopric with metropolitan authority. The 
same thing was done in the case of Antivari. Thus by 
the thirteenth century we find that Dalmatia was divided 
into three ecclesiastical provinces. The reasons why the 
Ragusans were so anxious to have an archbishopric of 
their own were political not less than religious. We have 
seen how important a personage the Ragusan bishop was 
in the constitution, and if he were to owe obedience to 

^ On the sea coast of Montenegro, near the Lake of Scutari. 
" Dated " Ides of January, Indict. I." (1078). 

' It will be noticed that Ragusa is alluded to first as a bishopric and 
then as an archbishopric in the same document. 


a prelate in a foreign and possibly hostile State, he might 
be induced to act in a manner prejudicial to the interests 
of the Republic. The existence of a separate province, 
which lasted down to our own times, also constituted a 
further assertion of Ragusan independence. 

The importance of the Ragusan Church was further 
enhanced by the conversion of the neighbouring Slaves, 
to whom Ragusa was the nearest religious centre. 
Ragusan missionaries went among them to preach the 
Gospel, and ecclesiastics from Constantinople made the 
city their headquarters and starting-point. The part 
which Ragusa played in these conversions explains the 
gifts which the Servian princes and nobles made to its 
churches.^ In later times religious controversies arose 
between the citizens and their neighbours, in consequence 
of the heretical and schismatic sects which were spread- 
ing throughout the Balkan lands. Ragusa was nothing 
if not orthodox, and used all her influence to second 
the Papacy in trying to suppress these movements, which 
were often countenanced by the kings and princes of 
Servia and Bosnia. Bernard, archbishop of Ragusa at 
the end of the twelfth century, wished to bring the 
bishops of Bosnia under his authority, and the Banus 
Culin, who at that time professed himself a Catholic, 
consented. But while Bernard was in Rome, Culin 
abjured Catholicism for Bogomilism,^ and set up Bogomil 
bishops in opposition to those consecrated by Bernard. 
Vulkan, Grand 2upan of Chelmo (Zachulmia), did like- 
wise, and convoked a synod at Antivari.' 

^ Gelcich, op. cit,^ p. lo. ' A heresy described in a later chapter. 

' Engel, § 20. 


In 1023 the Benedictine Order came to Ragusa from 
the Tremiti Islands under one Peter, and established itself 
on the island of Lacroma. Various Serb princes and 
Ragusan citizens made gifts of land to the monastery. 

The Ragusans were essentially a commercial people, 
and trade, both inland and sea-borne, formed the chief 
source of their wealth. In the Byzantine period, how- 
ever, we only find the germs of their future commercial 
development. We have already alluded to the part 
played by Ragusan shipping, first in the Greek expedition 
to Apulia in 848, and then at the battle of Durazzo. 
But the vessels were small, and the sea-borne trade of a 
very limited character. Navigation was of three kinds — 
coastwise traffic, navigation inira Culfum^ and navigation 
extra Culfum} Coastwise traffic was comprised between 
the peninsula of Molonta (a little to the north-west of the 
Bay of Cattaro) and the Canale di Stagno, a distance of 
about 70 kilometres in all, with ten harbours. Naviga- 
tion intra Culfum^ which extended from the Capo Cumano 
to Apulia and Durazzo, was of considerable importance 
even during the Byzantine epoch. Fine Milan cloths, 
skins, tan, and canvas for sails were brought on Ragusan 
ships from the ports of the Marche and Apulia, and 
forwarded to all parts of the Eastern Empire and the 
Slavonic lands. All trade to places situated beyond 
these limits came under the heading of navigation extra 
Culfum^ but we shall defer a detailed account of its 
conditions to a later chapter, as it did not grow to im- 
\ portant proportions until the thirteenth century. There 

^ Gelcich, Delle IsHtuzioni MaritHme e Secritarie delle Republica di 
R(Mgusa^ Trieste, 1892, p. 3. 

The Qlav and Harbour Gatk 


was, however, apparently a Ragusan colony at Con- 

The earliest recorded commercial treaty made by the 
Republic is the one 'of 1169 with Pisa. In 1168 the 
Republic of Pisa sent three envoys to Constantinople 
to settle a contention with Manuel Comnenus. On 
the way they stopped at Ragusa, and on May 13, 1169, 
signed a commercial treaty with the city, guaranteeing 
mutual immunities and other privileges. The Pisan 
envoys then proceeded on their journey, accompanied 
by the newly appointed chief of the Ragusan colony in 
the Imperial capital.^ There were political as well as 
commercial reasons for this agreement, in the hostility 
of both Republics to Venetian supremacy in the Adriatic. 
About this time the Ragusans obtained the right of 
citizenship at Constantinople, granted to them by Manuel, 
and confirmed by his son, Alexius II. The original 
documents have not been preserved, but the privilege is 
frequently alluded to by later writers. 

Many treaties with the other towns of Dalmatia, 
Istria, and Italy are published in the Monumenta spectantia 
Historiam Slavorum Meridionalium. Thus in 11 88 a per- 
petual peace was concluded with Rovigno ; * in 1 1 90 an 
agreement with the Cazichi or Narentans" (also called 
Dalmisiani, from the town of Almissa); in 1191 a 
treaty with Fano, and others to which we have already 
alluded. These agreements were all similar in character, 
and their object being to insure mutual and commercial 

^ Marcius noster Constantinopolitanus, Vicecomes, Mon, SI, Mer, I., 
doc. xiv. 

* Ibid,^ xxi. ' Ibid,^ xxiL 




privileges. Some contained special clauses exempting 
the citizens of the contracting cities from certain taxes 
and customs dues. 

Traffic with the Slavonic states also began early, but 
the great trade highways from the coast to the interior 
were not fully developed until the next century. 

Artistic and intellectual development, in which By- 
zantine influence is conspicuous, was still in its infancy, 
and of the few buildings of this period with any archi- 
tectural pretensions only the smallest traces remain. 
The town was built chiefly of wood, save for the walls 
and a couple of small churches. The oldest edifice of 
which anything remains is the Church of San Stefano, 
mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogenitus as the most 
important in the town. Four ruined walls in a court 
near the diocesan seminary are believed to have belonged 
to this very ancient building. The tradition is that it 
was erected by Stephen, Banus of Bosnia, or by his 
widow. Gelcich suggestively describes what the building 
must have been like : ** In the church of St. Stephen at 
Ragusa we must picture to ourselves not a work of art, 
but a chapel capable of containing few beyond the 
ministers at the altar ; low-vaulted, decorated internally, 
and perhaps externally, with frescoes ; an apse just large 
enough for the altar, lit by such few rays of sunlight as 
could penetrate by an irregular number of holes piercing 
the stone slab which closed the single-arched window 
placed over the altar.'* ^ On the outside wall there is a 
fragment of bas-relief of two arches, each containing a 
cross on a design of foliage. Close by is the area of a larger 

^ Gelcich, op. city pp. 13, 14. 


church, also in ruins, of a later date, to which Santo 
Stefano afterwards served as a sacristy. 

Another church of the Byzantine period is that of San 
Giacomo in Feline/ on the slopes of the Monte Sergio, 
mentioned by documents of the thirteenth century as 
already very ancient. Seen from outside, there is nothing 
to tell one that it is a church at all, but internally it is 
in good repair, and it is still occasionally used for 
services. It is quite plain, and has round arches and 
vaultings. It consists of a nave, three bays, and an apse. 
The single window, which is a later addition, is to the 
left of the altar. A small painting of the fourteenth 
century is the only ornament. Two other churches — 
San Niccol6 in Frijeki, and Santa Maria in Castello — 
although both of this epoch, were entirely rebuilt in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The best — one is 
tempted to say the only — piece of Byzantine sculpture 
in the town is a handsomely carved doorway in a chapel 
near the Duomo. The design, though simple, is elegant 
and graceful. On the island of Lacroma an inscription 
marks the burial-place of Vitalis, archbishop of Ragusa 
from 1023 to 1047, 

This, then, is the sum of Byzantine remnants at 
Ragusa. The name of Monte Sergio, as Frof. Eitel- 
berger says, is the only relic of the Oriental Church ; 
while the name of the west gate, Forta File or Fille, is 
apparently derived from the Greek IIiJXcw. 

Of literary production it is as yet too early to speak, 
for Ragusan literature only begins with the Renaissance. 

* Peline is Slavonic for sage. 



During the next hundred and fifty years, save for two 
or three short interruptions between 1221 and 1233, 
Ragusa is admittedly a vassal state of the Venetian 
Republic, ruled by Venetian counts appointed by the 
Doge. Venice was, however, the protectress rather 
than the absolute mistress of the Dalmatian townships, 
which continued to enjoy a considerable measure of self- 
government. Venetian influence was useful to them as 
a protection both against the pirates which infested the 
Adriatic and the turbulence of the Slavonic princes, 
although as regards her relations with the latter, Ragusa, 
at all events, was free to manage even her foreign policy 
to a great extent. It will be well to examine the condi- 
tions of the Slavonic hinterland at this period. 

During the twelfth century the Slave lands were be- 
ginning to assume a semblance of order, and early in the 
thirteenth century, out of the chaos of barbarous and 
more or less independent tribes, four principal states 
had taken shape. They were Servia or Rascia, Bosnia, 
Hlum or Hum, and Doclea. The most important of 
these was Servia, welded into a kingdom by the Nemanja 

dynasty, who had extended their frontiers southwards 



and eastwards at the expense of the Eastern Roman 
Empire. It included, besides modern Servia, as far as 
the Ibar and the Servian Morava, a part of Bosnia to 
the east of the water-shed between the rivers Bosna and 
Drina, the district of Novibazar and Old Servia, and a 
part of Albania.^ It had no regular capital in the modern 
sense, but the kings resided usually at Prizren, at Scutari,* 
or at Skopje (Osktlb). It touched the sea-coast at the 
Bocche di Cattaro and in Albania ; and the town of Gittaro 
was sometimes under Servian protection. The importance 
of the country does not begin until the reign of Stephen 
Nemanja (1143 or 11 59). He extended his territory so 
as to include Bosnia in 11 69, and reduced all the semi- 
independent iupans (feudal lords) to subjection. He 
was still under Byzantine suzerainty, but after the death 
of Manuel Comnenus in 11 80 he refused to pay tribute 
to his successor, conquered Ni§, and made PriStina" his 
capital. In 1185 he shook off all allegiance to the 
Greeks, and assumed the title of King of Servia, but 
was not crowned. In 1195 he abdicated in favour of 
his son, Stephen Uro§, who was crowned by his younger 
brother, St. Sava, the first archbishop of Servia. Stephen 
UroS's reign was peaceful, and Servia flourished under 
him. His brother, Vukan, had inherited the Zeta and part 
of Hlum from his father, but owed allegiance to Stephen 
UroS. When the Latin Empire of Constantinople was 
established in 1205, Baldwin recognised him as indepen- 

^ Now included in the Turkish vilayets of Kossovo and Scutari. 

* William of Tyre speaks of the " Rex Sclavorum " residing at Scutari 
at the time when the Crusaders were in Dalmatia. This is the 2upan 
Vlkan (1089-1105). 

* In the plain of Kossovo, near Mitrovica (Mitrovitza). 


dent King of Servia, Bosnia, and Dalmatia. UroS died in 
1224. His son, Stephen III., captured the town of Vidin 
or Bdin from the Bulgarians, and the district of Syrmia 
between the Save and the Danube. His brother, Ladislas, 
who succeeded him, abandoned Vidin on marrying the 
Bulgarian Tsar*s daughter. A third brother, Stephen IV. 
the Great, succeeded in 1237. With Stephen Uro5 II. 
Milutin (succeeded 1275) Servia is almost at the height 
of her power. He conquered a large part of Macedonia, 
capturing the town of Serres, besieged Salonica in 1285, 
and invaded Albania. He added Bosnia, which had 
been under Hungarian vassalage, once more to Servia, 
by divorcing his first wife and marrying Elizabeth, the 
daughter of the King of Hungary, who gave him Bosnia 
as a dowry. His grandson, Stephen, who was called 
Du§an or the Strangler, because he had strangled his 
own father,^ succeeded in 1331, and extended his power 
over the greater part of the Balkan peninsula. He 
conquered the rest of Macedonia and Albania, and re- 
duced Bulgaria to a state of vassalage. In 1346 he had 
himself crowned " Tsar of the Serbs and Greeks." * 

Bosnia, which corresponded to the modern region of 
that name, minus the eastern districts under Servia and 
the north-west corner, was ruled by a Banus who owed 
allegiance to Hungary. The first Banus, whose name is 
recorded in authentic documents, is Bori6, who reigned 
from 1 1 54 to 1 163. During the next twenty years the 
country was under Byzantine suzerainty, represented at 

^ This etymology is somewhat doubtful. Du§a also means the soul. 
« B. Kdllay, Geschichte der Serben; William Miller, The Balkans; 
F. Kanitz, Serbien, 


times by Greek governors, at others by native princes 
with Imperial diplomas. In 1 1 80 the great Banus Kulin 
or Culin came to the throne, shook ofF Byzantine autho- 
rity, and ruled the country wisely and well for twenty- 
four years. He cultivated friendly relations with his 
neighbours, including Ragusa.^ " The days of Culin " 
became proverbial in later and less happy times to indi- 
cate a golden age. After Culin*s death the country*s 
prosperity declined, but revived to some extent under 
Matthew Ninoslav (1232). After the death of his suc- 
cessor in 1254 Bosnia fell once more under Hungarian 
vassalage, and was divided into Bosnia proper (afterwards 
Bosnia-MaCva) under native vassal Bani, and the district 
of Usora and Soli ruled by Hungarian magnates. After 
a short period under the Croatian house of §ubi(5 the 
native prince, Stephen Kotromani6, became Banus under 
Hungarian suzerainty, and reigned until 1353, when his 
nephew, Stephen Trvartko or Tvrtko,^ succeeded him 
and crowned himself king. 

The land of Hlum or Hum had in early times 
formed part of the kingdom of Doclea, and included, 
besides the modern Herzegovina, Tribunia (or Travunia), 
the peninsula of Sabbioncello, a long stretch of Dalmatian 
coast, and part of Montenegro. In 10 15 it was con- 
quered by the Bulgarian Tsars, whose empire had spread 
to the Adriatic. The Greek Emperor, Basil II. (Bui- 
garoktonos\ reconquered it in 1019, and in 1050 the 
native prince Radoslav drove out the Greeks, and made 
himself ruler of the country. Among his successors was 
Bodino, who is said to have besieged Ragusa. During 

^ See ante, ' Klaid, Geschichte Bosniens, 


the twelfth century the Servians attacked Doclea, and 
in 1 143 King Radoslav II. asked the Greek Emperor for 
help against them; but in 1150 Hlum was conquered 
by Dessa (or Stephen Nemanja), brother of the King of 
Servia, renDccupied by the Greeks a few years later, and 
in 1168 added once more to the kingdom of Servia. 
From 1 198 to the beginning of the thirteenth century 
it was connected with Croatia, after which it returned 
once more to the Servians. The latter were extremely 
anxious to possess Hlum, because it afforded them their 
best opening to the sea (to the north they were cut off 
by Bosnia and Croatia). In all probability it continued 
to form part of Servia until added to the Bosnian Banate 
by Stephen Kotromani6 about 1320 or 1330, shorn, 
however, of Stagno by the Ragusans, as we shall see 

Ragusa was thus surrounded on all her land frontiers 

by powerful Slavonic states, who at times were friendly, but 

envied her wealth, and above all her splendid port ; of 

this they tried on more than one occasion to gain posses- 

I sion. Ragusa relied for safety on their own dissensions 

'; and on Venetian protection. In the meantime she made 

the most of her position by exploiting their territory for 

\ commercial purposes. 

Of the first twenty years of Venetian rule there is 
little to record. Of the counts, only one name is men- 
tioned between 1204 and 1222 — Giovanni Dandolo,^ 

^ Klaid, ofi,. cit.^ cap. vi. 

' A treaty between Ragusa and Taddeo, Count of Montefeltro and 
Podestk of Ravenna and Ccrvia, 12 16-1238 {Mon. spect Hist, Slav. 
Mer.y vol. i. doc. 49, pp. 35, 36; also in other documents of that 
collection between 1204 and 1226). 


who may have ruled during the whole period. But 
about this time there occurred a curious event in the 
history of the town, which is described as a Ragusan 
version of the story of Marin Faliero. It is variously 
represented as having occurred about 1221-1223 or 
1 230-1 232. The earlier date appears to be more prob- 
able, for reasons which we shall explain. Apparently 
for a few years previously Ragusa had been enjoying 
what was practically absolute freedom, as no Venetian 
count had been appointed. In 1221 or thereabouts a 
certain Damiano Giuda or Juda was elected count by 
popular assembly. But instead of resigning the dignity 
after six months, which had been the usual period during 
the intervals of independence, he continued in office 
illegally for two years ; he tyrannised over the people, 
subjected his enemies to arbitrary arrest, exile, and 
confiscation, and kept a bodyguard of mercenaries.^ The 
citizens tired of this misgovernment, and were willing to 
call in the Venetians once more. A conspiracy was set 
on foot to bring about the tyrant's downfall, under the 
leadership of his own son-in-law, Pirro Benessa. What 
increased the discontent among the Ragusans was the 
fact that since the rupture with Venice that Republic had 
ceased to protect them against piracy, and their mari- 
time trade suflFered in consequence. Giuda*s arbitrary 
proceedings had also caused trouble with the other Dal- 
matian towns. A group of nobles met to discuss the 
matter, and although some, including Vito and Michele 
Bobali, opposed any suggestion that Venetian aid should 
be resorted to, their objections were overruled, and it 

^ Resti, who erroneously records the date as 1202. 


was decided to send a deputation to Venice, headed by 
Pirro Benessa himself. On its arrival it was well re- 
ceived, and the Government sent a squadron of six 
galleys down the Adriatic, ostensibly to escort the 
Patriarch of Constantinople. It weighed anchor at 
Ragusa, where Benessa landed and visited the tyrant, 
advising him to come and pay his respects to the 
Patriarch and the Venetian admiral. Not suspecting 
treachery Giuda agreed, and went on board the principal 
galley. He was instantly seized and loaded with chains, 
and the fleet sailed away. When he found himself thus 
outwitted, in a fit of rage and despair he committed 
suicide by beating his head against the sides of the vessel. 
In exchange for this deliverance the Ragusans agreed to 
readmit the Venetian counts. 

How far this story is authentic we cannot decide, but 
in its main features it is probably true. It may be that 
Damiano Giuda was a patriot, whose object was to con- 
solidate Ragusa as a free city, independent of all Venetian 
tutelage, but that he felt that the community was still 
too weak to stand alone unless ruled by a strong personal 
government. Or he may have been, as most historians 
make him out, merely an ambitious citizen, like those 
who made themselves masters of the various Italian 
city-republics. Be that as it may, the important point 
is the subsequent connection between Ragusa and Venice. 
There is a letter addressed to one Velcinno,^ Podesti of 
Spalato, which alludes to "Zellovellus ragusiensis comes,*' 
and to the story of Damiano Giuda. This Velcinno is 
probably the same as Buysinus, who was podesti from 

^ Mon. Slav, Mer,^ vol. i. p. 4a 


1221 to 1223. This would indicate that the episode 
was over not later than 1223, and that Zellovellus had 
come as Venetian count. We know that Damiano 
tyrannised for two years, so he must have entered office 
at least as early as 122 1. But as he had been elected by 
the people and not appointed by the Doge, Ragusa must 
at that time have been independent of Venice. Now 
there are documents of 1224 *^d 1226 in which the 
Ragusans are reprimanded for having failed to send 
hostages to Venice and otherwise fulfil their promises. 
The final treaty of submission regulating Venetian 
suzerainty over Ragusa is dated 1232. Fisani concludes 
from this that the Zellovello letter is a forgery; that 
Ragusa shook ofF Venetian supremacy between 1224 and 
1226, remained free and independent until 1230, when 
Giuda became tyrant; and that the submission of 1232 
was the price which the Ragusans paid for being freed 
from him.^ Professor Gelcich, however, holds to the 
authenticity of the Zellovello letter,* but does not allude 
to the documents of 1224 and 1226 regarding the 
hostages and the prohibition to the Ragusans against 
trading with Alexandria.^ It is, I think, probable that 
these documents refer to a later rebellion against Venetian 
authority. Venice had helped the Ragusans to shake off 
domestic tyranny, say, about 1223, exacting in exchange 
certain promises of allegiance and a number of hostages. 
These stipulations were not fulfilled ; hence the protests 
referred to in the documents of 1224 and 1226. Venice, 
however, did not press her claims, and Ragusa remained 

* Pisani, op, ciL^ vii. ■ Op, city p. 29. 

* Venice had received the same prohibition from the Pope. 




more or less independent.' Finally, on finding that the 
city could not yet stand alone, or fearing that Venice was 
preparing to re-establish her authority by force of arms, 
the citizens made a voluntary submission in 1232. This 
view is corroborated by the fact that in the treaty of 

1232 no mention is made either of Damiano Giuda or of 
Pirro Benessa, who headed the conspiracy against him 
and the deputation to Venice. The negotiations were 
carried on between the Venetian Government and two 

> Thai it was not absolutely free is proved by the Doge Jacopo 
Ziepolo's Promissiom, dated March 6, 1329, which says : "And we are to 
receive the tributes of Cherso and Ossero, as well as of the country 
of Arbe and Ragusa" (Cod. Marc. DLl., class viii. Ital., quoted by 
Roman in). 


Ragusan nobles, Binzola Bodazza ^ and Gervasio 

The treaty of 1232 fixes the terms of Ragusa*s de- 
pendence. "We, the envoys of Ragusa/* it begins, 
*' seeing that it appears to us of great advantage that our 
country should be subject to Venetian domination, beg 
that you should grant us a Venetian count according 
to our desires.** Ragusa was always to have Venetian 
counts in future, who were to be chosen by the Doge 
with the majority of his councillors. " The count shall 
swear fealty to the Doge and to his successors, and thus 
will all future counts to all future Doges for ever. Also 
all the men of the county (of Ragusa) above thirteen 
years of age shall swear fealty to the lord Doge and his 
successors, and they shall renew their oath every ten 
years. They shall also swear fealty to the count and 
all his successors for ever, ' salva fidelitate domini ducis 
ad honorem Venecie et salutem Ragusii.' *' Should the 
Doge ever visit Ragusa he was to be honourably lodged 
in the Archbishop's palace. 

It was further agreed that the Ragusans should 
always choose a Venetian for their archbishop, namely, a 
man born at any place between Grado and Cavarzere, and 
that he should be subject to the authority of the Patriarch 
of Grado, if the Pope permitted it.* He, too, must 
swear allegiance to the Doge and his successors, whose 

^ Binzola Bodazza is always alluded to in this connection as one 
person, but in other documents, especially in the Reformationes^ we 
find the names Binzola and Bodazza as those of two separate noble 

' This stipulation is repeated in various subsequent documents, but it 
was not always observed. 


praises the clergy must solemnly sing in the cathedral at 
Christmas, at Easter, and on the feast of San Biagio. 

The treaty specifies the mutual obligations of the 
two cities in naval matters. When the Venetian fleet 
puts to sea for war beyond Brindisi and Durazzo, for 
every thirty Venetian galleys Ragusa must provide one, 
and the Ragusan ships are to remain in commission as 
long as those of Venice. Ragusa may levy the same tolls 
on all foreign ships as are levied at Venice, and the pro- 
ceeds are to be divided in equal parts between the Count, 
the Archbishop, and the Commune. The friends of the 
Venetians are to be the friends of the Ragusans, and the 
enemies of the Venetians their enemies. They must not 
have any dealings with the Almissans, the Narentans, and 
other pirates. Whenever Venice sends a fleet against the 
pirates, Ragusa must provide at least one good ship with 
fifty men. As regards tribute, " the Ragusans must give 
12 ipperperi to the Doge and icx> gold ipperperi of the 
right weight to the Venetian commonwealth on the feast 
of San Biagio. At the same time the Commune must 
give 400 ipperperi to the Count, as well as all the other 
usual revenues and honours, save the salt revenue. The 
Ragusans must send twelve hostages, belonging to as 
many noble families, to Venice ; of these, half are to be 
changed every six months." The Ragusans must pay 
5 per cent, on all goods which they bring to Venice 
from the Eastern Empire, 20 per cent, on those from 
Egypt, Tunis, and Barbary ; 2\ per cent, on those from 
Sicily. Merchandise from Slavonia was free of duty. 
Ragusa could only send four ships of seventy miliari ^ to 

^ Sometimes written miari. 


Venice each year on these terms ; all further traffic was 
subject to higher duties ; the Ragusans could not trade 
with foreigners in Venice, nor with countries where the 
Venetians could not trade. 

The document ends with renewed oaths of allegiance 
to Venice on behalf of the Ragusans.^ "Esadastes" 
admits that Ragusa really did submit to Venice in 1232, 
but declares this treaty to be a forgery, having only seen 
it in Nani*s De Duobus Imperatoris Rascia Nummis^ where 
it is incomplete. He bases his contention, first, on the 
fact that the provision as to the archbishops being Vene- 
tians was not always complied with. This, however, 
proves nothing, as there is no reason why Venice should 
not sometimes have allowed the Ragusans to choose 
some foreigner if no suitable Venetian were forthcoming. 
He adds that the Ragusan envoys had no authority to 
surrender the city without consulting the Grand Council, 
and as Damiano Giuda was then ruling, it could not be 
summoned. This is merely an ingenious quibble, and, 
if we admit that nine years had elapsed since the expul- 
sion of the tyrant, the argument has no value at all. 
Then he changes his line, and insists that Ragusa merely 
contracted a fadus or fidelitas^ i.e. a treaty of friendship, 
with Venice, and not a deditio or true submission, and 
that in agreeing to have Venetian counts Ragusa did 
nothing more than what Florence and other Italian cities 
did when they chose foreigners for the position di podesthy 
without thereby prejudicing their liberty. It is easy to 
see that there is a considerable difiFerence between the 
action of the Italian Republics, who chose their rulers 

* Mon. Slav. Mer,^ \. 75. 


now from one town and now from another, and that 
of Ragusa, who was obliged to accept Venetian counts 
appointed by the Doge.^ 

Venetian rule was now heavier than it had been pre- 
viously ; the Count made his influence felt more strongly, 
no important State business being transacted without 
his authority, and Ragusa was obliged to pay a tribute 
both in money and ships to the Dominante, The cere- 
monial observed on the arrival of the new Count was 
very elaborate ; it is described in all its details in the 
statute-book of Marco Giustiniani (1272) : — 

" We decide that the lord Count who will come to 
Ragusa for a period, shall swear in the public assembly 
summoned by the sound of the bell to govern the city 
well, to maintain and guard its ancient constitutions and 
statutes, and to give judgment according to their provi- 
sions. After swearing this oath the standard of San 
Biagio, Pontiff^ and Martyr, shall be delivered into the 
hand of the said lord Count by the Commune of Ragusa, 
and thus will he be invested in the piazza with the count- 
ship and governorship. Afterwards he will immedi- 
ately repair with the standard to the principal church, 
where he will receive holy water, incense, and a Bible, on 
which he shall renew his oath, from the cathedral chapter. 
Then one of the canons preaches a sermon praising the 

' We have often quoted this chronicle of " Esadastes," not because of 
the value of its arguments, but as characteristic of Ragusan individuality, 
and of the way in which the Ragusans made every effort to prove and to 
secure their own independence. They regarded themselves not only as 
independent of Venice, but as distinct from the rest of Dalmatian and 
they were always afraid that the great Republic might one day claim 
their alliegiance. Hence their efforts to prove that that allegiance had 
never really existed, or at least that it had had no practical effect 


Doge and the Count. The latter returns to the piazza 
with the standard, to receive the homage of the people, 
who, after the standard of St. Mark has been raised, 
swear to maintain the pact made with the Venetian Re- 
public. One citizen shouts, another shouts, all shout 
together: *Long live our Lord N.N., the magnificent 
Doge of Venice ! ' and all and sundry in Ragusa and its 
territory vow to be loyal to the said Doge and the Com- 
mune of Venice for ever, gladly accepting the standard of 
the blessed St. Mark the Evangelist presented unto them 
by the lord Doge himself." ^ 

This account gives us a vivid picture of mediaeval 
municipal life with all its picturesque splendour and its 
characteristic admixture of religion and politics. The 
piazza of Ragusa, with what was then the castle, the im- 
posing church, the frowning walls, and the small wooden 
houses — for it was still mostly of timber — formed a suit- 
able setting for the ceremony. 

The Count was assisted by two lieutenants or vis- 
counts, usually, but not invariably, Venetians, each of 
whom received a salary of fifty Venetian pounds, paid by 
the Ragusans, and two new suits of State robes every year. 
The Count remained in ofiSice on an average two years, 
and during his tenure he might not leave the city even 
for a single day. He could, however, obtain special 
permission from Venice to leave Ragusa for not more 
than eight days, but only on public business, such as 
arranging treaties with neighbouring princes. 

Apparently there was another break in Venetian rule 

* Uber Reform, ii. 322 ; Uber Statutorum, i« i| 2 ; Gelcich, op, cit^ 
PP- 30. 3»- 


about 1235, as in a treaty of that year with Koloman, 
Count of Almissa/ and in another with Rimini,* no 
mention is made of the Venetian count. In January 
1236 Ragusan envoys went to Venice to renew the 
treaty of 1232, but with modified conditions in favour 
of greater independence. The Signory, however, would 
not give way, and the treaty was reconfirmed in June on 
almost identical terms.* From this date Venetian o/er- 
lordship continued without interruption and witlout 
modification until 1358. 

As soon as the internal aflFairs of the Republic were 
settled the citizens proceeded to regulate their relations 
with their Slavonic neighbours. At this time the Banus 
of Bosnia, Ninoslav, was animated by friendly feelings 
towards Ragusa. In 1234 he had signed a treaty with 
the count confirming the privileges granted by Culin in 
1 1 89. On March 22, 1240, he paid a solemn visit to 
the city with a splendid retinue of nobles, and renewed 
the old treaties with the following proclamation : " It 
was the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I, Matthew 
Ninoslav, the Grand Banus of Bosnia, had the good 
thought of coming to Ragusa to my old friends the nobles 
and commons ; I came with my magnates, and we found 
Niccol6 Tonisto, the Count of Ragusa. I, with my 
magnates, made oath to him of eternal peace and friend- 
ship." He adds : " My subjects and my people and my 
oflicers shall love you, and with true faith protect you 

' Man, Slav, Mer.j i. 78. This Koloman was evidently the son of 
Andrew, King of Hungary, by whom he had been appointed Duke (or 
Count) of Croatia and Dalmatia (i 226-1241), Klaid, p. 92. 

' Mon, Slav, Afer,^ i. 79. 

» md,^ i. 80, 


from the wicked.** He granted them full commercial 
freedom throughout his Banate. He alludes to a dispute 
between Stephen Vladislav, King of Servia, and promises 
not to abandon them should they actually have to make 
war. This treaty was renewed in 1 249.^ 

The next few years were peaceful, save for a small 
religious dispute, and Ragusa continued to develop her 
resources quietly. The new Count, Niccol6 Tonisto, 
however, complained to the Pope that the Archbishop 
Arrengerius was a Roman and not a Venetian,* and even 
accused him of heresy because he had consecrated a priest 
of Patarene tendencies as Bishop of Bosnia. Arrengerius 
was thereupon translated elsewhere, and succeeded by a 
Venetian named John, to whom the diocese of Antivari 
was assigned as well,* much to the gratification of the 
Ragusans. The clergy and congregation of this second 
diocese, however, were not so pleased, and refused to 
recognise his authority. John's attempts to compel 
obedience only resulted in inducing Stephen Uro§, 
surnamed the Great, King of Servia, to take up the 
quarrel of Antivari and make a raid on Ragusan terri- 
tory (1252). Uros complained that the Ragusans were 
strengthening their fortifications — a very natural pre- 
caution — and on this pretext attacked the city. The 
new count Marsilio (or Marino) Giorgi * was sent as 
Venetian ambassador to expostulate with him, but on 
reaching Ragusa he refused to proceed further, and two 

^ Klaid, p. loi. 

' Doubtless he had been appointed during the last secession of 1235. 
» Engcl, § 25. 

* Mentioned by Caroldus and in the Liber Pactorum, The name 
sounds Ragusan. 


citizens were sent in his stead/ The latter proceeded to 
stir up and doubtless bribe Uro§*s vassals, so that he 
thought it best for the present to renew their privileges, 
but hostilities soon broke out again. The Ragusans 
made an alliance with Michael, the Bulgarian Tsar, and 
with Radoslav, Count of Hlum, against the Serbs which 
brought Uro§ to reason, and in 12 54 the differences were 
settled by stantco} 

Radoslav had visited Ragusa in person that same year, 
and the treaty of friendship which was thus concluded is 
embodied in two documents. In the first the Ragusan 
commonwealth swears to the Zupan Radoslav and his 
magnates that the city will be at peace with them according 
to ancient custom, and that they shall always have free 
access to its market. " And all this we wish to do and 
maintain to you and your people, without prejudice to 
our oaths to the Lord Doge and the commonwealth of 
Venice, and to the Lord Michael, Tsar of the Bul- 
garians." * In the second document Radoslav promises 
to make war with all his strength against King Uro§, and 
to defend Ragusa by sea and land ; he also added that 

^ Resti, cuLann, 1252. Ragusan writers frequently complain that the 
Venetians did not protect the city effectually against the Slaves, but it is 
difficult to see what they could have done against an almost inland 

' This institution is described on pp. 76-78. 

'In the various histories of Servia {e*g. B. Kdlla/s Geschichte der 
Serben^ p. 51) no mention is made of this coalition, and in fact the reign 
of Stephen Uro§, save for the Mongolian inroads, is described as 
peaceful. On the other hand, the treaty between Radoslav and Ragusa 
expressly mentions the alliance with Bulgaria against Servia. Probably 
the Mongol invasion of 1255 induced him to make peace with his 


he would remain at peace with Michael for so long as 
the latter's treaty with Ragusa lasted.^ 

The archbishop, who had been the original cause of all 
the trouble, had naturally become extremely unpopular, 
and when in his zeal for Venetian supremacy he proposed to 
carry out the provision of the treaty of 1232 by placing 
himself under the authority of the Patriarch of Grado, 
his position became untenable, and he was forced to 
abdicate (1257). The Ragusans obtained from the Pope 
that his successor should not be a Venetian. Another 
Venetian, however, was appointed in 1276. 

In 1 266 the quarrel with Servia broke out afresh. The 
King was angry, according to Resti, because a number of 
his nobles quitted the country and settled at Ragusa. 
This statement, if true, is interesting, as it is the first 
immigration of Slaves on a large scale into the city after 
the early settlements between the seventh and the tenth 
centuries. But again the quarrel was settled by stanico^ 
and the Ragusans agreed to pay Uro§ the tribute of 
2000 ipperperi in exchange for increased privileges and 
the confirmation of their rights over the disputed 
territories at Breno, Gionchetto, &c.* 

The year 1272 is a very important one in Ragusan 
annals, as it is the date of the promulgation of the 
statute-book by the Count Marco Giustiniani. Hitherto 
the constitution and laws of Ragusa had been based on 
custom, altered and modified by statutes. Giustiniani 
codified all the existing sources of Ragusan jurisprudence 

' Miklosich, Monumenta Serbica^ pp. 60 and 69 ; translated in Klaid, 
op, cit, pp. 137, 138. 

' Uro§ was deposed by his son in 1272. 






into a corpus called the Liber Statutorum. Dalmatian 
law is based on a Roman substratum, with additions 
from local statutes, Slavonic customs, and certain com- 
mercial and maritime statutes. The contents of the 
new code are summed up in the following mnemonic 
distich : — 

" Elligit officia comes civitatis in primo^ 
Officiis fides datur sacrata secundo, 
Causa litis sequitur temo sub ordine libri, 
Conjugis inscripsit quarto dotalia bona, 
Ordo datur domibus quinto plateasque divisit, 
Judicis officium crimen exposit in sexto^ 
Septimo navigii additur, at mercium ordo, 
Octavo in codice di versa colligit auctor." 

The introduction, which is full of generalities and 
abstract ideas, after the manner of the time, states that 
the object of the code was to collect the statutes of the 
Ragusan Republic, ** to harmonise the discrepancies, 
suppress superfluities, supply omissions, explain obscuri- 
ties, so that nothing superfluous, obscure, or captious 
should remain in them." The first book defines the 
position, rights, and duties of the count and of the 
other chief functionaries of the Republic, and deals with 
sundry financial matters. The second book contains the 
formula and oaths of each officer of State ; and in cap. 
xxiv. the salaries of the Ragusan envoys^ to foreign 
countries were fixed. The third embodies the law of 
procedure and the judicial system, and sets forth the 
rules for the stanico^ or international court of arbitration, 
to which we have already alluded. This institution was 

^ For the position and importance of these envoys see Chap. HI. 


a peculiarly Serbo-Dalmatian one, and deserves exami- 
nation. The statute of 1272 describes it as an anAca 
consuetudo. It was of two kinds, the plenarium stanicum^ 
or full court, and the parvum^ or minor court. The full 
stanicum was agreed upon by the Government of Ragusa 
and that of some other State with whom the former had 
a dispute. Each side elected an equal number of judges, 
who met at some place easily accessible to both capitals, 
and, if possible, on neutral ground, i.e. in the territory 
of some State not concerned in the dispute. Thus in 
disputes between Ragusa and Zara the spot chosen was 
Santa Maria di Lesina, on the island of that name ; for 
those between Ragusa and Sebenico, Trail, Spalato, 
Almissa, or Lesina, the stanicum met at or near Prevlaka 
(near Stagno) ; if the quarrel was with Hlum, at Malfi ; 
if with the Serbs, at Gionchetto or Cresta ; if with the 
Bosnians, at Trebinje, Popovo, or Canali. The dispute 
was settled by compromise rather than by arbitration, 
and each party was represented by State officials. The 
parvum stanicum was convened to settle private disputes 
between Ragusans and citizens of one of the Slave states 
(it was not resorted to in the case of disputes with the 
other Dalmatian towns). The presence of representa- 
tives of the two States was not necessary. But often 
when such disputes arose the parties would agree to defer 
settling them until the full stanicum met, provided that 
such a one was to take place shortly. It was not neces- 
sary that all private international disputes should be 
settled in this manner, and the plaintiff was free to 
summon his adversary before the latter's own tribunal. 
He only resorted to it when he feared that he could not 


obtain justice from the foreign court. In proceedings by 
stanicumy the old Teutonic and Slavonic system of the 
conjuratio was applied, by which each party produced a 
number of relations and friends, who swore to the 
veracity of their kinsman ; if any one was convicted of 
perjury, the curse fell on the whole clan alike. The 
institution exists to this day in Montenegro, Albania, 
and in certain districts of South Dalmatia and the 

The fourth book deals with marriage, wills, and 
family affairs. The fifth deals with municipal regula- 
tions, building laws and contracts, land tenure, &c. 
The sixth is the criminal code, and also contains 
fiscal enactments and smuggling laws. The seventh 
regulates shipping, the relations between officers and 
crew, agreements for voyages, marine insurance, re- 
sponsibilities and risks. The last book contains enact- 
ments on divers matters. It became law on May 9, 

This code, although it is imperfect and not 
altogether well constructed, marks a great improve- 
ment on previous legislation, and compares favourably 
with the statutes of many of the more famous Italian 
Republics. The shipping and commercial enactments 
are often excellent, and parts of the code, especially 
those relating to land tenure and certain forms of con- 
tract, are still valid at Ragusa. 

^ The chapters relating to the stanicum (stanak in Slavonic) are 19, 
20, 49-57. The matter is ably dealt with in an article by Professor V. 
Bogi^id in the Archiv fur Slawische Philologies Berlin, voL ii., 1877, pp. 




The^ Liiar Xtatufnruf f^ waa afterwards added to and 
enlarged, and numbers of new laws were enacted. Until \ 
1357 these were incorporated in the Statute-book, but I 
after the last Venetian count had left in that year a new i 
code was begun, called thp TA^^r Vj^df^ or Green Book, \ 
which contains all the new laws down to 1460. Then 
the Liber Croceus or Yellow Book was begun, and con- 
tinued down to 1 79 1. The last laws of the Republic, 
from 1 79 1 to its fall in 1808, are preserved in the 
dej_^rggadL^ The deliberations and enactments of the 
various assemblies are contained in the Liber Refor^ 
mationum^ which was begun in 1306. Of all these 
collections of enactments, only the last has been pub- 
lished, but not in a complete form (see Bibliography). 
In addition, there are various minor collections con- 
taining the edicts of certain special bodies. 

We shall now make a brief examination of the 
Ragusan constitution, which by this time had assumed 
the form which, with certain alterations, it preserved 
down to the fall of the Republic. Even the fact that 
in 1358 the Venetian counts were superseded by native 
Rectors did not change the internal constitution of the 
State to any considerable extent. The constitution since 
the early days of the city's existence had undergone much 
the same transformation as that of Venice, and tended to 
become even more aristocratic. The laudo populi was 
still maintained,^ but it was resorted to less and less 
frequently as years went by; and after having been an 
empty formality for some time, at the end of the period 
of Venetian suzerainty it had ceased to exist. The Liber 

^ In the Uber Reformationum it is mentioned at rare intervals. 


Statutorum was confirmed " per populum Rhacusinum 
more solito (J.e. to the sound of a bell) congregatum," 
but by that time all power was invested in the aristo- 
cracy. Only nobles might aspire to any but the 
humblest offices of the State, and every noble had a 
voice at least in the Grand Council. As at Venice there 
was the Golden Book, at Ragusa there was the Specchio^ 
containing the names of all the noble families. These 
were as a rule the descendants of the original Latin 
colonists from Epidaurus and Salona, or, in a few cases, 
of those early Slave refugees who were nobles in their 
own country. The names themselves have an Italian 
sound, although most of them are unlike any real Italian 
names.* There was a fairly large part of the population 
of Slavonic origin, but the official, and to a great extent 
the popular, language was Italian. The laws and 
deliberations and official documents' are all either in 
Latin or Italian, and the general character of the com- 
munity was prevalently Italian, modified to some extent 
by Slavonic influences. The latter tended to increase, 
especially after the end of Venetian suzerainty, and by 
the middle of the sixteenth century the bulk of the 
lower classes spoke the Servian language. 

The head of the State, as we have seen, was the 

^ The commonest are : Bassegli, Bobali, Bodazza, Bona, Bonda, 
Bubagna, Caboga, Ghetaldi, Gondola, Gozze, Luccari, Raguina, Resti, 
Saraca, Sorgo, &c. Only a few, such as Zlatarich, are purely Slavonic. 
The whole question of the relative proportions of Itali^ins and Slaves in 
Dalmatia is very obscure. Even to this day, owing to the bitterness of 
party feeling, it is impossible to obtain reliable statistics. 

' Save the treaties with the Slavonic states, which are mostly pub- 
lished in the original Servian in Miklosich's Monumenta Serbica, 


Count, who represented Venetian authority, summoned 
the councils, and signed all public acts. No act was 
valid without his approval, but, on the other hand, 
he could not make decrees without the assistance and 
consent of the councils. Of these there were three — 
namely, the Consilium Minus^ the Consilium Majus^ and 
the Rogati or Pregadi, 

The Minor Council , which had in all probability 
existed in a rudimentary form from the earliest times, 
had now developed into an important body. It acted 
as the Count's privy counc il^ it arranged all official 
ceremonies, and gave audience to foreign ambassadors 
and envoys to Ragusa. It also acted as a sort of Court 
of Chancery^ protected widows and orphans from in- 
jury, and watched over the morals of the citizens. 
It examined the deliberations of the other bodies on 
taxes, dues, and the rents, income, and real property of 
the State. On simpler matters it gave decisions, and 
others it referred to the Senate. It was an intermediary 
between private individuals and the State, and heard 
all complaints against the magistrates and other officials. 
It consisted of the Count and eleven members, of whom 
five formed the Corte Maggiore^ or High Court of 
Justice, for all important cases.^ The members were 
all men of mature age, and remained in office for a year 
only. Six made a quorum. 

The Senate {Rogati) was the most influential of the 
three Councils, and transacted a great part of the busi- 
ness of the State. It imposed all taxes, tributes, and 
customs duties, decided how the money of the State 

* The number of members varied at difTerent times. 




should be spent or invested, and dealt with many other 
financial matters. It conducted the foreign aflfairs of 
the Republic, and nominated ambassadors and consuls. 
It was the Supreme Court of Appeal for criminal cases, 
and after 1440 for civil cases as well. It appointed a 
number of State officials, such as the Provveditori of the 
Arsenal, the financial secretaries, and the functionaries 
who attended to the supply of provisions. The number 
of Senators varied considerably. At the date of the 
Statute Book they were thirty-five ; ^ later they rose to 
sixty-one. The body included the Count or Rector, the 
eleven Minor Councillors, various high functionaries, and 
a number of unofficial members. They met four times 
a week, and remained in office for a year, but might be 
re-elected, " for the Republic desires that her sons should 
exercise themselves in this kind of council, so that they 
may become Senators of judgment, and learn by long 
and continual experience the method and practice of 
governing excellently."* By a decree of 1331' it was 
decided that thirty Senators made a quorum. 

The Grand Council was the ultimate basis of the 
State, and was composed of all nobles above twenty 
years of age,* including the Minor Councillors, the 
Senators, and all the officials. Its numbers usually 
ranged from 200 to 300. It met in September, and 
the list of vacant offices were read out by the Count. 
The Secretary called up the Councillors one by one, 
drawing the numbers of all the seats from a bag. Each 
Councillor then drew a ball from an urn, which con- 

^ Gelcich, p. 32. • Luccari. ' Ub, Ref,y v. p. 307. 

* The age was afterwards lowered to eighteen years. 


tained a number of gold balls equal to that of the 
offices to be filled; those who drew the gold balls 
took their seats beside the Count and Minor Council, 
and ordered the Secretary to nominate three Coun- 
cillors for each office. As each name was called out 
the Councillor in question and his nearest relatives left 
the hall and waited outside. Then all the remaining 
Councillors were given linen balls, which they were to 
drop into another urn divided into two sections, one for 
the ayes and one for the noes. If none of the three 
candidates received more than half the votes recorded, 
the election was repeated. No one might refuse the 
office thus conferred upon him, save a small number 
of persons who could obtain a dispensation by paying 
a small fine/ 

The Grand Council ratified all the laws of the 
Republic ; it gave the final decision for peace or war, 
although the diplomatic function was reserved to the 
Senate ; it could recall exiles, it received petitions, and it 
managed many of the daily affairs of the city. Sixty 
members (including the Count and the Minor Council) 
formed a quorum. 

Besides the three Councils, there were a number of 
special bodies appointed for different purposes. Thus 
there was the Corie Maggiores or Major Curia^ already 
alluded to, whose sentences in civil matters were without 
appeal until 1440; the Minor Curia or Lower Court, 
with special advocates attached to each ; the Advocatores 

^ This account is based on that given in Luccari, save for such 
changes as occurred between the Venetian period and the early seven- 
teenth century, when Luccari's book was published. 


Comunis. or Public Prosecutors, and many other function- 
aries. The three Camarlenghi kept the public accounts, 
and the Doanerii supervised the customs. The four 
Treasurers of Santa Maria had important fiscal duties in 
guarding the State treasury and paying out the public 
money according to the decrees of the Senate. They 
also had certain charitable duties, and spent the income 
of invested surpluses in providing poor girls with dowries, 
and later in ransoming Christian slaves from the Turks 
or the Barbary pirates. Private citizens, and even 
foreigners from Slave lands, often appointed them 
executors of their wills. Originally they had been the 
guardians of the relics and treasury of the Cathedral, but 
as they gradually came to have so large a share of the 
financial business of the Republic on their hands, in 1 306 
another board, called the Procuraiores Sancta Mariay was 
instituted to manage the affairs of the Church, and act 
with powers of attorney for various religious confraterni- 
ties. A similar body was formed when the church of St. 
Blaize was erected in 1 349. The notary of the Republic, 
who drafted all public acts, patents, diplomas, &c., was 
usually an expert Italian lawyer. 

There were numbers of other officers for different 
departments of the administration and for the purposes 
of defence, such as those super sale^ super blado comunis^ 
super turribus^ the capUani di custodia^ who were elected 
every month, and the captains of the sestieri or six wards, 
into which Ragusa was divided. All the citizens in turn 
had to bear arms for the defence of the town, and certain 
nobles, who were changed very frequently, commanded 
the guard, and saw that the gates were securely fa$tcned 


at night. The rest of the Republic's territory was ruled 
by officers appointed by the Grand Council, called counts, 
vis-counts, or captains. They governed despotically, and 
no native of the territory had any voice in the administra- 
tion. In many cases the Government was very tyrannical 
and arbitrary. Ragusan ideas of liberty were not only 
restricted to a limited class, but did not extend a yard 
beyond the walls. Only the island of Lagosta, purchased 
in 'i 2 1 6 from Stephen Uro§, King of Servia, was permitted 
to retain its own customs and laws. 

It will thus be seen that the Constitution was essen- 
tially copied from that of Venice, and was designed above 
all to make personal government impossible. None of 
the officials, save the Venetian Count, remained in office 
for more than a year, and the great majority of them 
could not be re-elected for two years afterwards. Every- 
thing was done to prevent individuals from acquiring un- 
due influence, and to make the Government as collective 
as possible. All business was executed by boards and 
committees, and hardly anything by single individuals. 
Every detail was carefully regulated, so as to leave no 
loophole for tampering with the institutions or suspend- 
ing the continuity of the Government. The result was 
from some points of view satisfactory. In the whole 
history of Ragusa only three or four revolutions arc 
recorded — almost a unique distinction among the city- 
republics of Italy and other European lands, whose 
history is one long tale of civil wars and seditions. 
Venice alone enjoyed a similar though less complete im- 
munity. On the other hand, it gave the Executive very 
little power of acting energetically and pursuing a bold, 



broad-minded policy, and prevented Ragusa from expand- 
ing into a first-class maritime State, as it had more than 
one opportunity of doing. At the same time, had it 
become really powerful, and acquired a hegemony over a 
large part of the Adriatic littoral and of the Slave lands, 
it would have run greater risks at the hands of the Turks. 
Venice, who felt the need of a swift and silent executive, 
instituted the Council of Ten, to which the Ragusan con- 
stitution offers no parallel. The Ragusan Senate was too 
numerous a body to act in the same way, and in it those 
who hesitated and doubted usually carried the day. 

We realise the character of the Ragusan constitution 
from the fact that so few individuals have left their 
mark on the town's history. We read of the various 
noble families whose names appear again and again in the 
public records, but hardly any single citizen emerges high 
above the others. The few names which are remembered 
are those of scholars, men of letters, or scientists. Even 
the ambassadors were always sent in pairs, although in 
the Middle Ages this was not peculiar to Ragusa. 

Another aspect was that the three Councils who had 
to transact all the weightiest matters of the Republic 
were also overwhelmed with the petty details of muni- 
cipal admininistration. This of course was difficult to 
avoid in the case of a small city-republic, but it con- 
stituted the radical failing of that type of state, for its 
Government was a parliament, a court of justice, and a 
town council all in one. The same body might be 
called upon to decide on an alliance with Hungary and 
on the seaworthiness of a carrack in the same sitting. 

.In diplomatic affairs, however, the Ragusans were 


past-masters. The Republic was in constant danger from 
the powerful enemies which surrounded it on all sides. 
The Venetians, who claimed the monopoly of the Adriatic, 
were ever anxious to increase their influence and to 
become absolute masters of the city, as they were of the 
other Dalmatian towns, and after their retirement from 
Ragusa in 1358 they made many attempts to reinstate 
their authority. On the mainland there was the King 
of Servia, the Banus of Bosnia, the Lord of Hlum, 
watching for an opportunity to occupy Ragusa, whose 
splendid harbour they envied. But the city fathers, by a 
policy which was often tortuous and not always straight- 
forward, certainly achieved their object of preserving the 
Republic's autonomy. Although Ragusa was never ab- 
solutely independent — for she either had a Venetian G)unt 
or paid a tribute to this or that Power — she was always 
free from foreign control in her internal affairs, and to 
a great extent in her external relations. The Govern- 
ment always knew when to give way and when to hold 
out ; this feature became particularly conspicuous in the 
Republic's dealings with the Turks. 

Of the non-noble citizens we hear very little. They 
played no part in the Government, and were ineligible save 
for the very lowest offices. On the whole, they seem to 
have acquiesced in the oligarchical constitution, and ap- 
parently had little desire to take part in public afl^irs. 
They were ruled with wisdom and without oppression, 
free from faction fights, and their commercial interests, 
being identical with those of the aristocracy, were well 
cared for and protected by the Government. BotK 
classes derived their wealth from trade. 



TO return to our story; in 1276 Ragusa was once 
more threatened from outside. The King of 
Servia ^ determined to make another attempt to 
convert Ragusa into a Servian seaport ; he crossed the 
mountains with a large army and raided the territory of 
the Republic. A Ragusan force sent against him was 
defeated, and its leader, Benedetto Gondola, captured 
and hanged. Elated by this success, the King marched 
forward and tried to capture Ragusa itself by a coup de 
main. But the citizens were prepared, and the city put 
in a state of defence. The massive walls and well-armed 
battlements baffled the Servian king, and the Q>unt 
Pietro Tiepolo, who had called in a Venetian contingent 
to stiffen the Ragusan levies, defeated the enemy. The 
Venetian Government sent a deputation to the King 
threatening him with severe reprisals if he dared to 
attack the cities under Venetian protection, whereupon 
the Servians retired and peace was made.' Ten years 

^ Stephen UroS II. Milutin (i 275-1 321). 

' Lebret, StaatsgtsckickU der ReptMik Venedig^ L 598. Engel, who 

gives a similar account, attributes the raid to Stephen Kotromanid, Banus 

of Bosnia, which is clearly a mistake, as Ragusa was at that time on 

excellent terms with him. 



later the King of Servia, being oiFended with the Republic, 
harried and plundered its merchants, raided Ragusan terri- 
tory, and tried to capture the city, but was again defeated. 

Ragusa's relations with Venice were on the whole 
satisfactory. There were occasional complaints on the 
part of the Venetian Government that the Ragusans did 
not fulfil their treaty obligations and failed to send the 
promised galleys to take part in the expeditions against 
the Almissan pirates and other enemies.^ On other 
occasions they were blamed for delaying goods (chiefly 
grain) which passed through the city on the way to 
Venice. However, when in 1296 Ragusa was almost 
entirely destroyed by fire, the Venetians showed gene- 
rosity in providing money and building materials,^ and- 
the Q>unt Marino Morosini (i 296-1 298) issued a decree 
for rebuilding the city on a handsomer scale.* During 
the Genoese war Ragusa lent four galleys to the Vene- 
tians, which took part in the battle of Curzola, and after 
that disastrous defeat the Ragusan ships lent aid to the 
scattered remnants of the Venetian fleet (1298). 

Ragusa had considerable intercourse with the neigh- 
bouring Dalmatian townships, especially with Cattaro, 
which was one of the oldest city-republics on the coast. 
But there were frequent quarrels between the two com- 
munities, partly through the intrigues of the Slavonic 
princes, and partly on account of commercial rivalries, 
both towns being competitors for the salt trade from the 
coast to the interior.^ Cattaro had sometimes been under 
the protection of the Servian kings, who used it as their 

* Man, Slav, Mer,^ i. 204 (1293-1331) and 261 (1294). * Ibid^ 237. 
' Re/orm,^ 57. ^ Salt was a commodity lacking in the interior. 


seaport, and sometimes under that of Venice. But in 
1257a treaty was made by which the Cattarini promised 
in the event of a war between the Serbs and Ragusa to do 
their best to harass the former without openly espousing 
the Patterns cause, and each Republic was to try and pro- 
mote arbitration if the other was at war. We are not 
told how this curious compact was carried out, but it Was 
not by any means an unusual arrangement among these 
semi-independent Dalmatian townships. 

In 1 30 1 or 1302 there was another Servian war, 
in which Venice and Ragusa co-operated, caused by 
a quarrel with Cattaro. This town was now under 
Venetian protection, but continued to hold underhand 
intercourse with the Slaves. The Venetians protested, 
and Stephen Uro§, who called himself " King of Servia, 
Melinia, Albania, Chelmo, Doclea, and the maritime 
region," ^ made another raid on Ragusan territory, burn- 
ing the houses, destroying the crops, and murdering 
many of the inhabitants and making prisoners of others.* 
The Venetians, however, came to the rescue, and 
ordered their Capitano in Golfo^ or Admiral of the 
Adriatic, to remain with the fleet at Ragusa for so long 
as the city should be in any danger. The Serbs were 
defeated on several occasions, and finally induced to 
listen to the remonstrances of the Venetian ambassadors.' 
In 1302^ peace was made, and as the Ragusans had 

* Liber Pactorum^ 79. 

* Mon, Slav, Mer,y i. 294, 295, 296, 297. 
» Jbid,y 303, 304i 306. 

* We find a Reformatio of May 1303 which alludes to the Servian 
war as still continuing, but it was probably only a case of isolated raids 
and acts of brigandage. 


suflFered much during the war, and the devastating raids 
had caused a famine, they were allowed to retain the 
grain destined for Venice, and received loans and other 

For the next fourteen years there was peace, and 
Ragusa remained undisturbed save for one or two small 
disputes with Venice about certain prava statuta^ which 
denied all value to the evidence of Venetian witnesses at 
Ragusa.^ But in 13 16 another quarrel broke out with 
Uro§, who arrested and plundered a number of Ragusan 
traders. Venetian attempts at conciliation proved fruit- 
less,* and in 13 17 war broke out. The Count Paolo 
Morosini wrote that **much serious damage has been 
done to the commune and people of Ragusa in their 
persons and property by UroS and his people, who have 
again raided our territory." Among other damage, the 
Franciscan monastery outside the Porta Pile was burnt.* 
The Venetians sold arms to the Ragusans, and deferred 
claiming payment until the following year. These 
arms were "many breast-plates, 100 cross-bows, 10,000 
arrows, and 5000 falsaiores} 

We are not informed as to the outcome of this war ; 
but apparently Ragusa was reconciled with Servia in 
1322, as in that year Stephen UroS IV.,^ who succeeded 
his father in 1321, granted the city an accession of terri- 
tory, i.e. the districts of Bosanka and Osoinik.® A far 
more important acq uisit ion obtained during the next Iv^ 
few years was that of Stagno and the peninsula of Punta, 

* Mon. Slav, Mer,, i. 327. * Ibid,^ 254, Misti, 1313-1316. 
' Ragnina, ad ann, 1 316, also Ref, * Mon, Slav, Mer,^ \, 469. 

* Reigned until 1330. • Gelcich, op, cit,^ p. 34. 




o r Sabbioncello, as it is now called, which converted^ 
Ra gusa from ^a city-republic, w ith only a few miles of 
territory beyond the walls and some small islands, into 
a fairly respectable territorial State. The Punta di 
Stagno IS a long mountamous peninsula jutting out 
from the Dalmatian coast in a north-westerly direction, 
with a sort of spur or branch promontory stretching 
towards the south-east and forming a deep bay. Its 
length is 71.2 km., in breadth it varies from i.i km. 
t o 7.1 kni . Parts of the peninsula are very fertile, 
especially in vineyards. Its population is to-day over 
10,000, and in the Middle Ages it was probably more 
considerable. It is joined to the mainland by a narrow 
isthmus i^ km. across, with two small towns, Stagno 
Grande (Slav. Veliki Ston\ looking towards Ragusa, and 
Stagno Piccolo {Mali Sion)^ on the north towards the 
Mare di Narenta, each with a good port. On both 
shores of the peninsula are other small harbours. On 
the southern coast, opposite the island of Curzola, rises 
the imposing mass of the Monte Vipera, with the town 
of Orebi<5 at its foot. The importance of this territory 
for the Ragusa ns was £a rtlv strategical, as it formed a 
bulwark against invaders from the north, whether by sea 
or by land, an d partly commercial , on account of the 
valuable salt-pans of Stagno, wh ic h afte rwards f orme d 
one of the chief sources o f revenue for the Republic, 
and are still in use to this day. The Punta and the 
island of Curzola are the only spots in Europe where 
lackals are still to be found.- This territory had formed 
part of the principality of Hlum, which, as we have seen, 
was originally joined to Doclea, and recognised Servian 



overlordship from about 1222 until some time between 
1320 and 1330, when it was added to the Banat of 
Bosnia under Hungarian suzerainty. Hlum was divided 
into a number of zupe, like the other Serb lands, under 
different feudal families. Stagno and the Punta was 
ruled by that of the Branivoj, with whom the R^usans 
had hitherto lived on terms of 
friendship and commercial inter- 
course. The Republic sent them 
an annual gift of 100 ipperperi^ 
which may, however, have been 
blackmail to secure immunity 
from piracy, to which so many 
of the Slave tribes were addicted. 
It is probable that the Ragusans 
had had their eyes on this district 
for some time, and in 1320-21 
they gladly obeyed the injunctions 
of the Venetian Senate to act 
against the pirates of Stagno and 
C^ttaro.* About 1323, for some 
unrecorded reason,' a quarrel broke 
out between Ragusa and the 
Branivoj ; and on April 8, 1325, instead of sending the 
usual gift, the Republic decreed warlike preparations 
against the lord Branivoj and his sons "qui fecenint 
offensionis multas, depredationes, et rubarias contra 
comune et speciales personas civitatis Ragusii." A few 

* Gelcich, itid. 

* Men. Slav. Mer., \. 304, Misti, adann. i320->i. 

* It may have been the acts of piracy alluded ta 





months later Ragusa sent envoys to Venice to request 
the Doge*s intervention on account of the King of 
Servians attitude, which appeared to be insincere.^ Hos- 
tilities were commenced, and carried on with a barbarity 
unusual even for those times. The following year 
Braico, one of Branivoj's sons, was captured at Sant' 
Andrea in Pelago, and condemned to be exposed in a 
cage and starved to death. Some time afterwards his 
brother Grubaza or Grubeza was captured, and their 
mother, who had asked for Ragusan hospitality on her 
way to Bosnia, was detained as a hostage. The third 
brother, Branoe, was arrested by the King of Servia, who 
was now friendly towards the Ragusans. The latter 
requested him to hand the prisoner over to the commune 
of Cattaro, where he would have less chance of escaping. 
UroS agreed, but the Republic was still unsatisfied, and 
private citizens offered rewards out of their own pockets 
for the heads of the surviving members of the Branivoj 
family. A certain Pasqua promised 500 ipperperi^ and 
the Croce family 2000, to any one of the King's barons 
who would kill Branoe on the way from Svczana (where 
he had been detained) to Cattaro ! * The Servian king 
apparently had another slight disagreement with the 
Ragusans about 1327; but when war broke out between 
him and the Bulgarian Tsar Michael, he required their 
help to obtain Italian mercenaries, and in return he 
favoured their projects on Stagno.' His successor, 
Stephen Du§an (1330-135 5), was still more favourable, 

^ Ex Libr, Consiiiory 1325, Aug. 15, and 1326, March 15, Cons, Roy, 
xl., Gelcich, pp. 34, 35. 

* Gelcich, Reform, • Engcl, § 28. 



1^ Ckmtk ^ Smm 

s. Frmm€%anm Ckmtk mmtl 

I Cmmnd ^ St Mmnt (mm 

\. Shn Htmm 

J. Ckmrtk tf Urn Damn t u 

1 Ckmnk tf St JwMpk 

9 Ckmnk ^ Urn Jntuh. 

la CmUmdnd 

u Okvc* < S £f<^ir« 

13. TtmmHmU 

14. Ttr i ^^ iw M (Cmttom //mw;. 

I& CAmvA 1/ ^ Omimmm 

t, FmmiMm 

■a Orteiidb Cohmn 

t^ Fmmtam 


and through the two citizens of Cattaro, Trifone and 
Niccolo Bucchia, who held high positions at his court 
as Protospathar and Protovestiar, the Republic obtained 
his full support. Trifone was sent to arbitrate, but his 
sympathies were so thoroughly Ragusan that he actually 
contributed to the price on Branoe*s head. Niccol6 
finally induced the King formally to cede the coveted 
territory to Ragusa, and accompanied him on a state 
visit to that citf7 The Servian king was received by 
the citizens with their usual magnificence t[U3^)> ^^^ 
Niccol6 Bucchia was presented with wi(fe lands and 
houses on the Punta, and a house in Ragusa itself. 
He was afterwards granted citizenship and a seat in. 
the Grand Council, and became the founder of a famous 
family. The document ceding Stagno in exchange for a 
tribute is published in the Monumenta specantia Hisioriam 
Slav or urn Meridionalium} 

"We, Stephen Nemanja Dusan, by the grace of 
God, King of Servia, Dalmatia, Dioclia, Albania, Zeuta,* 
Chelmo, and the Maritime Region, . . . concede and 
grant to the community of Ragusa by hereditary right 
to them and to their successors the whole Punta and 
coast of Stagno, beginning from Prevlaca to the confines 
of Ragusan territory, with all the towns and villages and 
houses therein contained, and also Posrednica' ... in 
exchange for which they must pay to us and to our 
successors annually on the day of the Resurrection of 
our Lord Jesus Christ 500 soldi in Venetian grossly on 
pain of paying double in case of delay.*' In addition he 

* Vol. i. 589. ' Part of Montenegro. 

' A small island at the Narenta's mouth. 



was to receive a sum down of 2000 tpperperi^ and Stephen 
Kotromani<5, Banus of Bosnia, who had certain rights over 
the Punta, was to receive 600 ipperperi a year. Accord- 
ing to Resti,* it was necessary for the Republic to bribe 
several of the King's nobles and councillors so that they 
should influence him in favour of the grant, and they 
influenced the Banus of Bosnia through his secretary, 
Domagna Bobali, who was a native of Ragusa. The 
compact was carried out, save for the island of Posred- 
nica, which the Ragusans were not allowed to occupy 
until 1345. What became of the Branivoj family, 
whether it was entirely wiped out or whether the 
surviving members were merely expelled, we are not 

The Republic at once set to work to partition the 
land in the new territory among its citizens. Three- 
quarters of it were granted to the nobles, and the rest 
to the burghers ; the grantees were forbidden to sell any 
land to the Slaves. A colour of piety was lent to this 
conquest by the determination of the Ragusans to stamp 
out Bogomilism and schism from the peninsula, and the 
caloyers^ and heretical priests were esdled, and their 
places occupied by Roman Catholics. At the end of the 
century the Franciscans were established as an additional 
bulwark of the Church. In order to protect Stagno from 
more earthly dangers an elaborate system of fortifications 
was begun, which were to serve the Republic in good 
stead on more than one occasion. Both Stagno Grande 
and Stagno Piccolo were surrounded with massive walls, 

^ Adann, 1322. 
> A name usually given to Greek priests in the Middle Ages. 



and a castle was built in each. A third was erected 
at the top of the hill, between the two seas; a long 
wall with towers at intervals was carried right across 
the isthmus, and other walls from both towns to the 
castle on the hill. These defences may be seen to this 
day, and although in a woeful state of neglect and 
disrepair, still form a most conspicuous feature in the 


The following year King Stephen rather repented his 
generosity, and demanded back the gift on the pretext 
that the Ragusans were incapable of defending it securely. 
But his envoys, who visited Stagno, being convinced by 
the sight of the Ragusan fortifications, and perhaps by 
that of Ragusan gold, that it was being rapidly made 
quite secure, induced him to confirm the grant. This he 
did, and forbade his subjects to attempt to enter the 
ceded territory. Another dispute with the fickle Servian 
king broke out in 1330, because the I^usans had given 
shelter to the widow of the Bulgarian Tsar, who had 



been forced to fly after the defeat and death of her 
husband by the Serbs at the battle of Velbuid.^ Stephen 
wished to secure the fugitive, and demanded her of the 
Republic. The latter refused the demand, in spite of 
promise of still further territories and privileges, and sent 
the Empress safely to Constantinople. Stephen then 
demanded back Stagno once more, and tried to take it 
by storm. But as it was too strongly fortified he limited 
himself to a raid on Ragusan territory on the mainland, 
until called away to defend his northern frontier against 
the Hungarians. Peace was made in 1335, ^^^ '^^ 
1336^ a solemn Ragusan embassy was sent to honour 
him at Scutari. 
/ The maritime trade of the Republic had brought gr eat 

riches to the citizens, but co ntact with t he East also 
brought the pla gue in its train, and in 13 48 Ragu sa, 
like the rest of Europe, was visited by the tem ble 
sgcaicgfi. It was probably introduced into the western 
world by the Tartars besieging CafFa in 1344, and 
although the town was saved, the relieving force caught 

^ This story is somewhat confused Ragusan writers declare that the 
princess in question was deposed, together with her son, by a rebellious 
noble, Alexander, who made himself Tsar and offered to place Bulgaria 
under Servian suzerainty if Stephen secured the fugitives for him. But 
after Velbu2d Michael's widow fled, and his first wife, Anna^ Milutin*s 
daughter, was placed on the throne jointly with her son Sifiman II. by 
the victorious Serbs. Stephen UroS died immediately after, strangled by 
his son Stephen DuSan, who held Bulgaria as a vassal state. Then 
came the rebellion of Alexander, who forced SiSman and his mother to 
fly from Bulgaria, and induced DuSan to marry his sister. Anna fled to 
Ragusa, and perhaps this may be the princess to whom the local his- 
torians allude. On the other hand, it does not seem likely that Dusan 
would wish to capture her, his own kinswoman. See Jire^ek's Geschichte 
.(jUr Bulgaren^ 290-298. * Lib. Ref,^ iii. 365. 


the disease, which spread through Europe with lightning- 
like rapidity. The following document preserved in the 
book of wills in the Cathedral treasury at Ragusa, 
written by eye-witnesses, gives a vivid picture of the 
terror inspired by the fell scourge : — 

" Our Lord God sent a terrible judgment, unheard 
of in the whole world, both on Christians and on pagans, 
a mortality of men and still more of women, through 
an awful and incurable disease, which caused the spitting 
of blood and swellings on various parts of the body, so 
contagious that sons fled from their fathers and still 
more often fathers from their sons ; all the art of 
Apocrates, Galen, and Avizena proved useless, for no art 
or science availeth against Divine judgment. This disease 
commenced at Ragusa on the 15 th day of December, in 
the year of our Lord 1348, and lasted for six months, 
during which 1 20 persons or more died each day ; of the 
(Grand) Council there died no nobles." ^ According to 
Gelcich, jhe.l9taL.nui3ihcr^of . dfii^ths JiLJbe. town ranged 
^r^ 22P2— ^— l.Q^QPP* including 160 nobles and 300 
burghers; it is impossib le to conjecture how many died 
in the tefp-ifory^ It made its appearance at the same 
time at Spalato, preceded, according to the legend, by an 
eclipse of the sun, so complete that the stars were visible 
by day, and by a drought so great that the dust remained 
suspended in huge clouds in mid air.^ Ragnina, who 
wrote more than a century after the event, declares that 
the belief that the Jews had poisoned the wells was very 

^ Quoted in Gelcich, Istiiuzioni MaritHme e Sanitarie della Repub- 
lica di Ragusa^ Trieste, p. 37. 
« Ibid,, p. 38. 


prevalent, while others believed that the cause of the 
disease was a conjunction of three planets under Jupiter 
and Mars.^ At this time no sanitary precautions were 
taken against further visitations, but large sums were 
collected to build the votive church of San Biagio. 

This same year there was another disagreement with 
King Stephen, as we find the Venetian Government 
authorising the Ragusans to purchase a further supply 
of arms;* in 1349 and 1350 Venetian embassies were 
sent to Servia to protest against his raids on Ragusan 
territory, a Venetian galley stationed in the harbour as 
a protection,' and two mangani or catapults were for- 
warded to the citizens.* Some of the Venetian docu- 
ments on the subject allude to Bosnian as well as Servian 
raids. Klaid says that the Banus Stephen Kotromanid 
actually did make raids before 1345, but in that year 
made peace and never molested the Ragusans again. 
His nephews, however, the Nikoli^i counts of Hlum 
and Popovo, had many quarrels with Ragusa and raided 
her territory, and it is to them that the documents 
allude/ War now broke out between Servia and Bosnia, 
because the Banus would not consent to his daughter's 
marriage with the King's son, Uro§. The King invaded 
Bosnia on two occasions with a large army, and besieged 
the Banus in the royal castle of Bobovac, but could not 
capture him. These quarrels between Bosnia and Servia, 
like those between Servia and Bulgaria, were paving the 

^ Annali, adann. 1348. ' Afon, Slav. Afer,^ iii. 16. 

' Ibi(Ly 182, 256, 272. * /&V/., 274. 

* See also Lib, Reform,^ i. 155-157, 162, 163, 169, 248, 249 ; and Resti, 
iutann. 1349-1350. 


way for the Turkish conquest, and the obscure battles in 
the Bosna and Drina valleys formed the prelude to the 
fatal day of Kossovo and the bondage of the South- 
Slavonic race. The Banus Kotroman died in 1353, and 
was succeed by his nephew, Stephen Tvrtko, who was 
the first King of Bosnia. He too was friendly to the 
Ragusans, and granted them important privileges. 

The conditions of Venice in the middle of the four- 
teenth century were far from prosperous. The plague 
of 1348 had carried off three-fifths of the population, in 
spite of the most stringent precautions.^ In 1350 the 
fratricidal war with Genoa was again renewed in con- 
sequence of disputes about the Black Sea trade. The 
battle of the Bosporus (1353) was indecisive; in that 
of Cagliari the Venetians were successful, but dared not 
attack Genoa, because the city had placed itself under 
the protection of the Visconti. But in the same year 
they were totally defeated at Sapienza in the Greek 
Archipelago and their whole fleet captured. In 1354 
the conspiracy of Marin Faliero broke out, and kept the 
whole State in a turmoil for many months, until the 
execution of the Doge and his accomplices.' His suc- 
cessor, Giovanni Gradenigo, made peace with Genoa, and 
the Venetians set to work to rebuild their fleet and re- 
store their exhausted treasury by means of new com- 
mercial enterprises in the Levant. But their possession 
of Dalmatia and the land frontier north of Treviso were 
now threatened by Lewis of Hungary. The latter allied 
himself with the Count of Gorizia and the Carraresi of 
Padua against Venice, and invaded the Trevisan march, 

^ Horatio Brown, Vetua^ p. 196. ' Ibid.^ pp. 198-205. 


defeating all the forces sent against him and capturing city 
after city. A five months' truce was concluded in 1356, 
but when it expired hostilities broke out once more, and 
the treasury was soon empty. Merchandise might arrive 
by sea, but with the mainland in the hands of the enemy 
there was no outlet for its distribution.^ New taxes 
were raised, causing much discontent, and the Republic 
was at last forced to sue for peace. Lewis made the 
cession of Dalmatia an express condition of his retire- 
ment from the Trevisan march. After much discussion 
and expostulation the Senate was forced to agree to these 
humiliating terms, and Dalmatia, which had been acquired 
and maintained at such great sacrifices, was now given 
up (Feb. 1358). The Republic had hoped to create a 
diversion by an alliance with the King of Servia, who 
had been fighting with the Banus of Bosnia, then a Hun- 
garian vassal. But Stephen DuSan got more and more 
involved in the Greek war, and when the Hungarians in- 
vaded the Venetian terraferma he was marching towards 
Constantinople, but died on the way thither (1355). 

I The Ragusans were delighted at the successes of 

Lewis ; they had received him with great honour when 

! he touched at their city in 1 349 on his return from the 
Neapolitan expedition,^ and from that moment they 

'. began to contemplate the advisability of placing them- 

' selves under his protection. They had been afraid of the 
Hungarians when they threatened to conquer Bosnia and 
Hlum, but now there was little fear of that, and Hungary 
not being a great naval Power, could not threaten their 
liberties by means of the fleet as Venice could always do. 

^ Horatio Brown, Venice^ p. 211. ^ Gelcich, Ritgusa^ p. 44. 


When in 1356 the Venetians sent commissioners to 
claim the Ragusan contingent for the war, the Grand 
Council made professions of friendship, and agreed to 
send it. At the same time they were negotiating with 
the Hungarian king for the surrender of their city to 
him. On July 7, 1357, Lewis confirmed their possession 
of Stagno, which, having formed part of Bosnia, was in 
a measure under his authority, and it is probable that a 
preliminary treaty of dedition was signed at the same 
time. When, by the peace of February 1358, Venice 
gave up the whole eastern shore of the Adriatic, from 
the Quarnero to Durazzo, she attempted to retain her 
hold over Ragusa on account of that very claim to 
separation from the rest of Dalmatia which she had 
hitherto always combated. Blandishments were tried, 
and by a rescript of the Doge Giovanni Dolfin (Jan. 2, 
1358) the Ragusans were granted Venetian citizenship 
and commercial equality with the Venetians.* But 
Ragusa had no wish to retain even a vestige of Venetian 
authority, and a few weeks later Marco Soranzo, the last 
Venetian Count, left the city by order of the Doge. The 
Ragusans treated him with courtesy and evinced no ill- 
feeling against him, whereas the Venetian officials in the 
other Dalmatian towns had departed amidst the jeers 
and curses of the inhabitants. A triumvirate of Ragusan 
nobles was elected by the Grand Council to carry on the 
government while arrangements with King Lewis were 
being completed. By a curious irony they sent com- 
missioners to Venice in March to order "unum gon- 
falonem et aliquas banderias cum armis D. N. D. Regis 

^ Engel, Appendix viii. 


Hungariae pro galleis et lignis nostris/* and later ** unum 
gonfalonerium ad modum penoni de sindone torto cum 
arma {sic) Regis Hungariae cum argento albo et cum 
argentum (sic) de^ratum pro due. auri xxx." ^ 

On June 2 7 /th e final treaty was signed by Lewis o f 
. Hungary and Giovanni Saraca, Arc hbishop^ of Ragusa> 
at ViSegrad . The Ragusans placed themselves under 
Hungarian protecti on, but were allowed to retain their 
' own internal liberties more iPuliy than under Venice. 
The King's praises, instead or^hdse of the Dbgc^wefc 
to be sung in the churches of Ragusa three times a year. 
The Hungarian standard was to be adopted as well as the 
banner of San Biagio, and 500 ipperperi a year were to be 
paid to the King. Should Hungary be engaged in naval 
warfare Ragusa must provide one galley for every ten 
Hungarian galleys whenever the Dalmatian fleet put to 
sea ; if the Royal fleet alone were employed, Ragusa need 
only provide one for every thirty. The supreme po yern- 
ment of the Sta te was no longer to be vested in a foreign 
count, but in three native" RagusansTaftewards^rc^ 
t o one) to be chosen by the XJouncil. _Thc_only repre- 
sentative of the King was the captain of t he Hungarian 

^ a nd Bosnian guard , but he too was really injthe service 
of the Rep ublic, and had no political authority. From 
this moment Ragusa may Be considered an independent 
State, as Hungarian a uthorit y , save for the tribute, was 
little more than a formality. 
\ Durin g the Venetian epoch the territory of the 

\/ Republic had expanded considerably, and when t he last 
count departed it consisted of the following districts : — In 

^ Ub, Re/,; Gelcich, Ragusa, p. 44. 


the immediate neighbourhood of the city it possessed the 
valleys of Gionchetto f§umet\ Bergato fBrgat), and 
Ombla (Rijeka) , with the bay of Gravosa and the Lapad 
peninsula^ut the frontiers were very near, and o n the 
crest of Monte Sergio^ immediately behind the city, 
watchmen were posted day and night. Part of this 
territory had been acquired in the earliest times, but 
small additions had been made at intervals. Beyond the 
Ombla the citizens owned the stretch of cpast know n as 
Starea or ^ ^ ^frea^^ Of the islands, they possessed in 
the thirteenth century Mercana — a small rock opposite 
the promontory of Ragusavecchia, with a monastery of • 
St. Michael* — and Isola di Mezzo ^ Calamotta. Daksa, 
an d S. Andrea of the group known to the ancients as 
the Elaphites Insulae were added in 1080.' In 121 8 
the more distant island of Lagost a^had been acquired, 
and at an early date that of Meleda had been granted 
by the Servian king to the Benedictine monks, with the 
condition that the civil government should be entrusted 
to the Republic. Stephen the First-Crowned gave them 
Giuppana in 12 16. Between 1220 and 1224 Stephen, 
Nemanja's son, granted the same monks a stretch of - 
land abou t ^rnovica and Ombla. As a consequence of 
the Ragusan alliance with Michael Asen, the Bulgarian 
Tsar, against Stephen Uros I., King of Servia, in 1254, the 
Republic's southern frontiers were extended so as to in- i 
elude the vineyar ds of Breno and the peninsula on which 

^ From Astoria^ a mediaeval Latin word meaning a flat tract of sea- 
coast. In Du Cange " maritima, campus planus mari adjacens." 
' Mentioned in 1254. 
' Gelcich, / Conti di Tuhelj\ p. 22. 



the ruins of Epidaurus are said to lie.^ Here a new 
town arose, which by a strange inversion of names was 
called Ragusavecchia. We have seen how in 1 333-1334 
Stagno and the , peninsula of Sabbioncello and th e coast 
as far as the Narenta's mouth were acquired. In 1357 
small additions were made about Breno and Gionchetto 

between the Ljuta stream and the village of Kurilo ' 
(north of the Ombla). The districts of Carina and 
DricnQ > although on the Ragusan side of the mountain 
above Breno, remained bevond the frontier : eventually 
they became Turkish territory, and such they remained 
until i878.» 

The Ragusan Church had also been increasing in 
wealth and dignity with the growth of the Republic, and 
a number of handsome ecclesiastical buildings were begun 
during the fourteenth century. In the eleventh, twelfth, 
and thirteenth centuries the Slavonic princes gave the 
churches many valuable gifts of land, gold and silver 
ornaments, and relics. But in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries Bosnia, Hlum, and Servia were 
torn by religious wars owing to the spread of that 
strange and little known heresy called Bogomilism, on 
which it will be useful to say a few words. Of the 
origin of this heresy as of its tenets there is very little 
reliable evidence. In all probability it was an offshoot 
of Armenian Paulicianism, itself derived from the earlier 

^ In 1 33 1 a request was made to the King of Servia "de implorando 
ab eo castrum de Prisren in custodia, pro securitate mercatorum nos- 
trosum conversantium in Prisren," but it was refused (Gelcich, / Canti di 
Tuhelj, p. 23). 

* Near Petrovoselo. 

' Jire^ek, op» cit^ pp. 13, 14. 

Cloister of the Franciscan Monastrrv 

w k 

V ^ 


Adoptionist creed.^ Paulician colonies have been settled 
in Europe as early as the ninth century by the Emperor 
Constantine Copronymus, and the heresy spread to 
Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, and Macedonia. In his His- 
tory of the Bulgarians, Prof. C. J. Jireiek gives an 
account of the beliefs of the Bogomils according to the 
researches of various Slavonic scholars. They believed 
in the existence of two principles, equal in age and 
power, one good personified in God, and one evil per- 
sonified in Satan. They recognised the New Testament, 
but not the Old. All matter and all the visible world 
were essentially evil ; the body of Christ was only an 
apparent, not a real, body. The sacraments were 
corporeal, therefore evil. They had no hierarchy, but 
an executive consisting of a bishop and two grades of 
Apostles. Besides the ordinary Bogomils there was a 
special order of the Perfect, who renounced all worldly 
possessions, marriage, animal food, and lived like 
hermits. They had no churches or images. They 
had a deathbed ceremony, without which one went 
to hell. They did not believe in purgatory.^ But, 
as Prof. Bury remarks, it is doubtful if this is a true 
presentation of the Bogomil creed. Hardly any of 
their books of ritual survive, and all the accounts of 
them which have been preserved are written by their 
prosecutors. It is more probable that they were a 
monotheistic sect, believing in one God only, and 
rejecting the Trinity. This view is supported by the 

* For the Paulicians, see Conybeare's Key oj Truths and Bury*s 
edition of Gibbon's Decline and Fall^ vol. vi., Appendix 6, p. 54a 
' Jireiek, Geschichte dcr Bulgaren, pp. 176 sqq. 


fact that at the time of the Turkish conquest such 
numbers of Bogomils became Muhamedans. It was 
not merely that they went over to the conqueror's 
creed from motives of mere self-interest ; there was 
really more similarity between that religion and Bogo- 
milism than between the latter and either the Eastern 
or the Western Church. 

In the tenth century there was a bishopric of Bosnia, 
which until the eleventh century was in the ecclesiastical 
province of Spalato. In 1067 it was transferred to that 
of Antivari. Later in the same century it was added 
to the archbishopric of Ragusa. But the dioceses of 
Antivari and Spalato continued to dispute Ragusa's 
supremacy, and in the conflict of authorities Bogomilism 
found scope to increase its adherents. The Bosnians 
were mostly Roman Catholics, although there were 
Orthodox Christians among them. Ban Culin was 
himself a Catholic, but when in 11 89 the Pope, at the 
instigation of the King of Hungary, Bela III., trans- 
ferred the Bosnian bishopric once more from the Ragusan 
province to that of Spalato, he went over to Bogomilism, 
so as not to be in any way under Hungarian authority. 
His conversion gave the heresy a fresh impetus, and it 
spread all over Bosnia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, and Croatia, 
even to the coast towns. Pope Innocent III. had to 
induce the King of Hungary to make a crusade against 
the Bogomils in Bosnia, but C^ulin declared that they 
were good Catholics, induced the Archbishop of Ragusa 
to go to Rome with several of the heretics to be examined 
by the Pope, and asked for a Papal envoy to be sent to 
Bosnia to study the question. The Pope agreed, and 


sent his chaplain, Johannes de Gisamaris, to Bosnia in 
1 203. The heads of the Bogomil community, who were 
also heads of monasteries, met at Bjelopolje on the 
Bosna, and met the Banus, Casamaris, and Marinus, the 
Archdeacon of Ragusa, and presented an address in which 
they affirmed their orthodoxy and their attachment to 
the Roman Church/ and declared themselves ready to 
obey the Pope in everything. Culin himself abjured all 
heresy. They renewed these declarations before the 
King of Hungary and the Banus at Pest. The Papal 
legate was quite content, and advised the Pope to erect 
some new bishoprics in Bosnia. 

But in 1 2 18 the heresy was again rampant, and 
Honorius III. sent a legate to Hungary and Dalmatia 
to preach a crusade against the Bogomils. But no 
crusade was organised, and the legate went alone to 
Bosnia, where he died in 1222. The quarrels between 
the Pope and Hungary gave the Bogomils a respite, and 
they became even more numerous in consequence. In 
1222 Andrew II., King of Hungary, placed Bosnia 
under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Ugolin, Bishop of 
Kalocsa, on condition that he stamped out the heresy, 
and Pope Honorius confirmed the donation. But the 
crusade never came off, and the Bogomils became so 
powerful that they deposed the Banus Stephen and suc- 
ceeded in placing their co-religionary Matthew Ninoslav 
on the throne (1232). James, the Papal legate, went 
to Bosnia and found that the greater part of the inhabit- 
ants were tainted with the heresy, including the Catholic 
bishop ; the Archbishop of Ragusa knew of this and did 

* Theiner, Man. Slav. Mer.^ i. p. 2a 


not trouble about it^ so that the legate reconfirmed the 
union of the bishopric to that of Kalocsa. He succeeded, 
however, in inducing Ninoslav to become a Catholic, and 
endow a new cathedral, which was to be in the hands of 
the Dominicans. Many magnates followed his example. 
But the Bogomils soon raised their heads once more, and 
the Banus was either unable or unwilling to extirpate 
them. A crusade was therefore proclaimed against them, 
which lasted from 1234 to 1239. Bosnia was ravaged 
with fire and sword, and finally conquered by the 
crusaders under Koloman, the King of Hungary's son. 
In 1238 the Dominican Ponsa was made bishop of 
Bosnia, and by 1239 Bogomilism seemed to have been 
suppressed. But the moment the crusaders retired the 
heretics, who were supported by the nation, rose in arms 
once more and became independent of Hungary. In 
1246 Innocent IV. ordered a second crusade, but this 
time without success. After Ninoslav*s death Bosnia 
again fell under Hungary, but no very severe measures 
were taken against the Bogomils. The Bogomil Church 
of Bosnia became an established institution, and the 
Catholic bishops themselves no longer resided in the 
country, but at Djakovar, in Slavonia. Various attempts 
to organise crusades against them failed. The Bani were 
afraid of persecuting them lest they should rise in arms 
and put themselves under the protection of the King of 
Servia, who as a Greek Christian was also an enemy to 
the Catholics. Moreover, the missionary efforts of the 
Catholic Church were hindered by the quarrels between 
the Franciscans and the Dominicans. Bogomilism spread 
to Croatia and Dalmatia, and found adherents even at 


Trail and Spalato. Pope Benedict XII. ordered the 
Croatian barons to make war on the heretics (1337), but 
they were too busy fighting among themselves to achieve 
much result. But the Banus Stephen declared himself a 
good Catholic in 1 340, and protected the Roman Church 
in Bosnia once more, agreeing to the establishment of 
two more bishoprics. We hear little more of the heresy 
after this date until the crusade of 1360.* 

The Ragusan Church suffered in consequence of the 
heterodoxy of so many of the Slave princes, and no 
longer received rich gifts from them. On the other hand, 
both on account of its convenient situation and because 
it was a stronghold of Catholicism, the town became the 
centre of all this missionary activity. In 1225 the 
Dominican Order was established at Ragusa, and occupied 
a small house attached to the church of S. Giacomo in 
Peline. When the Order became more numerous it 
removed to the Ploce quarter, where a large new church 
was erected for it in 1306, and a monastery about 1345. 
The Franciscans first came to Ragusa in 1235, twenty- 
eight years after the foundation of the Order by St. 
Francis of Assisi, who is said to have visited the city 
himself on his return from the Holy Land, although 
there is no foundation for the legend. In 1250 a 
monastery was built for them outside the Porta Pile ; it 
was destroyed by the Serbs during the raid of 13 19.* 
A concession of land was granted to them within the 
walls in the Menze quarter, and by the middle of the 
fourteenth century they were established in the large, 

' Klaid, op, ciLy iii, iv, v, vii, and viii. 
* Ub, Ref,y v., April 14, 1319, p. 139. 



handsome monastery which still exists, built partly at 
Government expense and partly by the munificence of 
private citizens, including the guild of Ghent mer- 
chants established there.^ The two Orders gave battle 
to the heretics, and helped to organise crusades against 
them, which are among the most barbarous examples 
of religious persecution which history records. On the 
other hand, if we are to believe the Ragusan legend, 
the Bogomils themselves persecuted the Catholics in 
the Cattaro districts, and the bodies of three martyrs 
who were murdered by them were brought to Ragusa, 
where a church was built in their honour.* It is some- 
what difficult to unravel the tangle of contradictory 
accounts on this subject, especially as Ragusan writers 
often confuse the Bogomils with the followers of the 
Oriental Church. 

* Gelcich, Ragusa^ p. 21. * Ibid.^ 17, 18, 43, 25. 



T HE whole ba sis of_ Ragusa's prosperity, as we ] 
have seen in the first chapter^ was trade. The ! 
Republic's territory W ^ S ^tpo sma lU and in part I 
too aridy to provide sufficien t foodstuffs for the popular 
tion^^and three-quarters of the grain which it consumed 1^/ 
annually were imported from abroad. Con sequently it 
was u pon t rade and industry that the citizens had to 
depend for their means of livelihood. Manufactures, 
however^ savg^ gb.^pbuilcliQg , never assumed great import- 
ance zt^ Ragusa, and it was not until the following 
century that any industries at all were established. 
Tr ade, on th e other hand, both sea-borne and overland, 
received a great additional impetus from the extension " y/ 
of V enetian traffic and from the increasing civilisation i 
of the iSlave states. At Ragusa, as at Venice, Florence, 
Siena, and elsewhere in Italy, the aristocracy as well as 
the middle classes were all interested in trade. We find 
members of all the noble families in the Ragusan settle- 
ments in Servia and Bosnia and Albania, and no nobleman 
disdained to travel overseas with his own goods. 

We have seen the division of Ragusan maritime I 
trade into coastwise traffic, navigation in/ra Cu/fum^ and 
navigation exfra Culfum. This last now became of con- 
siderable importance, and Ragusan vessels were found in 


every port of the Eastern Mediterranean. A special 
form of trade which had now arisen is that described in 
the Statute-book as ultra marinis parHbus^ i.e. up the 
courses of navigable rivers like the Narenta and the 

The Levant trade became extremely active, and was 
no longer limited to the tract of sea between the Gipo 
Cumano on one side, and Apulia and Durazzo on the 
other. From the commercial provisions contained in 
i the various treaties betwee n Ragusa and Venice, we learn 
{ that the former traded with all parts of the Eastern 
I f-yyipirej Syriaj TuniSj Barbary^ I^^ix* Sicil y^ and probablv 
Egypt. At Constantinople the privilege granted by the 
Comneni were renewed by the Latin Emperors Baldwin 
I. and Henry. The Ragusans traded especially with the 
Morea and the feudal duchy of Chiarenza or Clarence,* 
whence they brought silk to Ancona and other parts of 
Italy. At the same time they kept up their connection 
with the Greek princes who held sway over the frag- 
ments of the Greek Empire, namely, the Emperors of 
Nicaea and Trebizond^ and the despots of Epirus. 
After the capture of Constantinople by the Latins, 
Epirus continued to hold out against their arms, and 
was ruled by the despots Michael I. (who died in 12 14), 
Manuel (1214-1241), and Michael II. (1241-1271), all 
of whom granted valuable privileges to the Ragusans.' 

^ Whence the title of the English Duke of Clarence is derived. 

^ The documents on this subject are lost, but the privileges are 
frequently mentioned by later writers. 

s Tafel und Thomas, Griechische Urkunde in the Sitzungsberichte der 
Kais. Wiener Akad. der Wissenschaften, Philos.-histor. Classe, vi. 508- 
529; Miklosich u. Miiller, Acta Graca^ iii., 58 sqq,^ 66-67; Heyd, 
Histain du Commerce du Uvant^ i. 308 sqq. 


When the Greek Empire was re-established in 1261 
all the exemptions and privileges were reconfirmed, 
first by Michael Palasologus, and later, in 1322, by 
Andronicus 11.^ 

With regard to Egypt, if for the word Rakuphia in 
Benjamin of Tudela we should read Ragusa, the citizens 
of St. Blaize also frequented the market of Alexandria. 
In 1224 Egypt was placed under interdict, and the 
Venetians forbade the Ragusans to trade there ; Ragusan 
merchants before starting on a journey had to swear that 
they would not visit Egypt, but in all probability the 
prohibition was often disregarded.^ Subsequent attempts 
to enforce the interdict were equally unsuccessful. The 
object of the prohibition was above all to prevent the 
Egyptian Sultans from obtaining timber and iron, which 
were rare in their own country, for military purposes. 
Traders were attracted, however, by the enormous profits 
of the venture, for which they were willing to brave 
ecclesiastical thunders. In 1304 three Ragusans were 
captured whilst engaged in illicit traflic with Alexandria ; 
they were granted absolution by the Pope on condition 
that they devoted part of their profits to building the 
Dominican monastery in their native town.' 

Another country with which Rag usa had c ommercial 
intercourse was Bulgar ia. In the early days of the second i 
Bulgaiian Empire (established in 11 86) the Venetians 
could not trade with it, as they were the supporters 
of the Latin Empire at Constantinople in withstanding 

^ Heyd, op. cit.^ i. 475. 

' Mon, Slav. Mer.^ I 40 ; Heyd, op. cit.^ i. 308. 

' Theiner, Motu Hist. Slav. Afer. illustr.^ i. 121 ; Heyd, op.cii.^ ii. 5a 


Bulgarian inroads; the Genoese were equally cut ofF 
because the Venetians excluded them from the Bosporus. 
The field therefore lay open to the Ragusans alone, and 
they were very favourably received by the Tsar John 
Asen II. (1218-1241)/ who called them "his well-be- 
loved and trusted guests." The Bulgarian trade was 
partly carried on by sea and partly over land thr ouglT 

the Balkans. 
"^ ■ .1 '■■■ ■ — . 

From Italy and Sicily the Ragusans obtained mc^t of 
/ their breadstufFs^ and in exchange they broug^ht Eastern 
and Slavonian goods to those countries. Among the 
new treaties with Ttalian towns we may mention those 
with Rimini (1235),^ with Taddeo, Lord of Ravenna and 
Cervia (1218-1238),^ with Ancona in 1256 and 1292/ 
with Fermo in 1288;^ with Trani, Bari, Molfetta, and 
Barletta the old treaties were renewed at various times, 
and in the Reformationes we find numerous allusions to 
the special envoys sent to Apulia to collect grain. A 
large storehouse was built in the city with fifteen large 
dry wells to contain an adequate provision of grain in 
time of war/ Constantinople, Smyrna, Durazzo, Anti- 
vari, the Bojana valley, and to a lesser extent the Slavonic 
principalities, were resorted to for the same purpose. 
With Florence, too, Ragusa traded, and although there 
was no regular commercial treaty between the two cities, 
the Bardis and other Florentine merchant princes sent 
agents to Ragusa from time to time. 

^ Caloian or Kalioannes. ^ Mon. Slav. Mtr.y L 79. 

» Ibid., 83. * Ibid,, in, 248, 251. * Ibid, 236. 

* It still exists in the upper part of the town, but is now used as a 
depot for military stores. 


Shipping was regulated by a number of minute 
enactments to ensure safety, to fix the relations between 
captain and crew, and to define the obligations and risks 
of the owner. The amount of cargo which each ship 
was to carry was established by statute and varied 
according to the seasons of the year, and the vessels were 
examined before starting on a voyage by special officers 
to see that these and other regulations, such as those 
concerning the necessary coatings of pitch and the proper 
amount of arms to be carried, were complied with. Piracy 
being very prevalent in the Adriatic, it was decreed in 
1336 that each vessel employed for other than coastwise 
traffic should carry five cuirasses, four spears, four bows, 
a suitable number of arrows, and a sword, shield, and 
helmet for every person on board. The personnel of 
these merchant ships consisted of the nauckrius (captain 
or master), the scribanus (accountant), the mercator (the 
owner of the goods carried, or his representative), the 
custodia (supercargo), the marinarius (mate), the conductus 
(ship's boy), and a crew varying from eight to fourteen 
men for vessels up to a tonnage of eighty miara ; for 
larger ships the necessary number was fixed in each 
particular case by the authorities. Members of noble 
families engaged in trade were constantly making voyages 
on their own ships, and later we find them even employed 
as scribani^ and in fact a decree of 1462 in the Liber 
CroccMS established that no one could be a scribanus 
unless he belonged to the Ragusan nobility.^ At this 
time the ships were still small as compared with the 
great argosies * of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 

* Gelcich, IsHtusioni Afarittime e Sanitariey p. 14. 

' The word is said to be derived from "a Ragusa," but it is doubtful. 


but they were swift and suitable for the purposes for 
which they were required. The war fleet and the mer- 
cantile marine, as at Venice, were interchangeable, and 
ships which in peace time served for commercial purposes 
were converted into warships simply by increasing the 
number of armed men, strengthening the bulwarks, and 
, providing them with engines of war. 

Shipbuilding from the earliest days of the Re£ublic 
formed an important industry. The timber was obtained 
from the forests of Monte Sergio, now, alas, disappeare d, 
v/ andfrom those of Lagos ta and Meleda, of which traces 

still jremain, as well as from Bosnia. The iron came 
from the interior, and was manufactu red at Venice or 
locally, the can v as fro m Ancona and t he March e, pitc h 
from Dalmatia, cordage from Ragusa itself. So jealous 
was the Republic of the shipbuilHing mdustry, that no 
native builder {calafato or marangone) might lend his 
services to foreigners, under which heading the Slaves 
were included. In later times an exception was made in 
favour of the Turks. The harbour of Ragusa, which is 
too small for large modern steamers — these always land 
passengers and goods at Gravosa — in the Middle Ages 
was ever busy with arriving and departing ships, and the 
arsenal hands were always engaged in building or repairing 
craft of all kinds. Other shipp in g yards existed atjthe 
^ • Isola di Mezzo, at Malfi, on Giupp ana, and la ter at 
[ Sta gno, Slan o^ and Ragusavecchia, The Ragusan vessels 
were famed throughout Illyria, and the Republic was 
frequently requested to lend some to this or that Slave 
potentate, to the Hungarians, and sometimes to the 
Venetians themselves. 


even from Cattaro pirate vessels often issued forth to 
ravage the Dalmatian coast or prey upon the Adriatic 
trade. With Cattaro in particular Ragusa was very often 
at war on account of the rivalry for the salt trade, and 
all intercourse with the Serbs on the shores of the Bocche 
was forbidden. On various occasions the Government 
issued decrees forbidding Ragusan merchantmen from 
setting sail without an armed convoy, and whenever 
news was brought to the city that corsairs had been 
sighted the armed galleys of the Republic were instantly 
got ready and sent in pursuit of the freebooters. The 
Venetians had undertaken the policing of the Adriatic, 
and the Ragusans were bound by treaty to contribute 
one or more ships for the purpose. Thus in 1326 they 
were thanked by the Venetian Senate for their past ser- 
vices in this direction, and requested to send two of their 
best galleys to the head of the Gulf.^ 

Another risk which Ragusan traders ran was that 
their ships and goods might be seized and confiscated in 
foreign ports by the local authorities. Antivari, Dul- 
cigno, Durazzo, and Trani were the worst offenders in 
this respect, but even at Venice and Alexandria the 
citizens of St. Blaize were not always safe. 

The sailor's calling was consequently fraught with 
considerable danger and responsibility, and the return of 
a merchant ship from a long voyage was hailed as a 
great event, especially if it occurred at Christmastide or 
: Easter. Then, as Prof. Gelcich says, " more than an 
bccasion for domestic rejoicing, it was a national festival. 
. . . We can see with our mind's eye the large crowd 

^ Mon, Slav, Mer,^ i. 204, Misti, 1326 27. 



lining the quays watching the ships entering the harbour, 
each vessel trying to be the first to drop anchor, so as to 
receive the small gift of one ipperpero awarded by the 
State for the achievement." ^ On Christmas Eve all the 
sailors of the ships which happened to be in port that 
night carried a block of wood (ceppum)* to the castle, 
singing songs {koknde)^ and placed it on the Count's 
hearth. The Count in return gave them each a cup of 
wine and two ipperperi pro kolendis. They also received 
two ipperperi from the Salt Commission, and two more 
from the Cathedral treasury.' All ships, whether Ragusan 
or from cities with whom the Republic had a commercial 
treaty, "qui navigant more Raguseorum," coming into 
port were exempt from the stata or harbour dues, and 
only paid a small tax to the Count, the Archbishop, and 
the Cathedral treasury. With the proceeds of the latter 
the new Cathedral was built, declared by De Diversis 
and other writers to have been the finest church in all 
Illyria. Ships from countries with whom there were no 
treaties paid the arboraticum and the stata. 

The weakening of Venice in consequence of the 
Hungarian wars, although acceptable to the Ragusans 
for political reasons, produced a very deleterious effect 
on their commerce, as piracy revived; Ragusan un- 
friendliness was also punished on occasion by exclusion 
from the Venetian ports. Shipbuilding had declined to 
such an extent that in 1329 the Venetian Senate ordered 
the Ragusans to construct an arsenal where ships could 

^ Istitusioni Marittime e Sanitariiy p. 16. 

' The custom was an Italian one, and the word ceppo is still used for 
Christmas box, or even for Christmas itself. 
' Gelcich, op» cit.^ p. I7- 


be built or repaired.^ A resolution added to the Statute- 
book in 1358 declares that ^^ marineriza Racusii erat 
amissa." Ragusan ships were now very few, and sea- 
borne commerce was carried chiefly on foreign bottoms 
and in partnership with foreigners. With the separation 
from Venice, Ragusan trade came to be almost wholly 
in foreign hands. A series of statutes were enacted for- 
bidding Ragusans from associating with foreigners, and 
various other measures were taken to revive national 
shipping; the results were very successful, and by the 
end of the fifteenth century the city had more than 
regained its old position. 

The overland trade of the Balkans attained a re- 
markable development in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, and regular trade routes were established from 
the Adriatic coast through the interior to Constantinople 
and the Black Sea. Of these routes which, together 
with that from Hungary, formed the connecting link 
between Western and Eastern Europe, there were several. 
One was from Spalato, one from the Narenta mouth, one 
from Ragusa, one from Cattaro, and one from the mouth 
of the Bojana. They all joined the Belgrad-Constantinople 
route at different points, and all had branch routes to 
the various mining and commercial centres of Servia, 
Bosnia, Hlum, Albania, and Bulgaria. Ragusa^ owing 
to her geographical positio n^ was always the chie f market 
x/ \ on the Adriatic for the hinterland, and Ragusan c aravans 

were constantly travelli ng along the va rious rout es^^ Ihfi- 

chie f exports from the Slavonic lan ds were cattle, cheese, 
driei^fislufrom the lake of Scutari^ skins^ wool , honeys 

^ Mon. Slav, Mer., i. 204, Misti^ 1329. 


wax, timber, silver, and iron. Ragusa imp orted sa lt. 
manufactured cloths^ clothes^ brocades^ arms, axes^ horse- 
trappings^ glass-ware, perfumes, sweetmeats , southern 
fruits, fish, oil, wine, and gol d- and silversmiths^ w^^ 
The salt trade formed one of the Republic's c hief 
sources of income, as the interior, although rich in other 
minera ls, was abso lutely wanting in this necessary com- 
modity. Saltrpaus were established at four points along^ >/^ 
the lUyrian coast — the Narenta, Ragusa, the Bocche di 
Cattaro> and San Sergio on the Bojana. The ftagusans r 
by me ans of old treaties with the Slaves, had almost 
acquire d a mon opoly of the traffic, and they were often 
able to p unish the depredations to which their territory 
was subjected by cutting off the supply. The largest 

■ Jill ■■rf^n.M^- <iifci^<»ii i. >M.<tM . M . ^ - — - 11,11 r I n I II I mt^mmm^mm^m^^t»»^^^^ 

salt- pans were in the neigh bourhood of Ragusa itself, 
but after i^^^ they were remov ed to Sta gno , where the 
industry is carried on to this day, and continues to 
supply the saltless interior.* The Narenta salt- pans w ere, 
mono polised by th^ Rap uy^ng whn established a customs 
Station at the river's mQut| i j ^and _thQSft, of the Bojana, J 
although outsicie their territory^ were alsaiP-lheir hitnds; 
their only rival was Cattaro. whence the innu m erab le 
quarrels with that city. Cloth was imported from 
Venice, Florence, Mantua, and later fro mjthe looms of 
Ttag usa h erself. The presents which the Ragusans gave 
to the Slave princes and nobles out of friendship or as 
blackmail and bribery often took the form of rich gold 
brocades, silks, and satin s, which greatly delighted the 

* Mjatovid, Studies in the History of Servian Trade in the Thirteenth 
and Fourteenth Centuries, Glasnik, vol. 33, 37, 38 ; Jire^ek, op, cit. 

• Jire^ek, op, cit. 




splendour-loving barbarians . We can well imagine the 
semi-civilised and proud vojvods and iupans gloating 
over a consignment of the choicest products of Floren- 
tine industry, and being therebv induced to concede 
almost any com mercial or political ^privile ge to th e 
[ patient and cunning envoys from the Republic of St. 
Blaize. To this day the Slaves of Servia, Dalmatia, and 
Bosnia, even the very poorest, love to deck themselves 
out in the most gorgeous costumes and the brightest 
ornaments, which adds not a little to the picturesqueness 
of that country. 

A large part of Ragusan territory , both on the 
mainland an3 on the islands, was covered with vine- 
yards; wine was, in fact, the chief agricultural product 
I ^f the country* No wine could^^be i mported from 
j abroad save by a special licence, occasionally granted to 
• the Count, foreign ambassadors, or eminent ecclesiastics. 
The land trade was carried on entirely by means of 
caravans. There were no carriage roads since the decay 
v/" of those built by the Romans. andTalF goods tiravelled 
by caravan and were carried on the backs of pack- 
animals, chiefly horses. Each caravan, which was formerly 
^ called a turma^ a word still used in Montenegro, con- 

sisted of 200 to 300 pack-animals under the charge o f 
Vlach drovers. These Vlachs or Rumans of Dalmatia 
were nearly all shepherds or horse- and cattle-drovers, 
and had markedly nomadic habits. At an early date 
they became identified with the Slaves, but, as I have 
said, they were probably of Latin origin.^ In the Middle 

^ There are hardly any distinctive traces now of the Vlachs in 
Dalmatia, save in the name Morlacchi, given to the Slaves generally by 
the Italians of the coast towns. In Macedonia, however, the Kutzo- 


Ages they were usually the subjects of the feudal chiefs 
and monasteries. The leader of the caravan, also a 
Vlach, provided an adequate armed escort, and undertook 
to protect his charge against the brigands. Most of the 
traders were Ragusans or natives of the other coast towns, 
but Slavonic merchants also took part in this trade, 
especially those who were settled at Ragusa, where some 
of them became naturalised so as to enjoy the same 
exemptions and privileges as the citizens. Even noble 
feudatories and kings did not disdain this kind of traffic, 
and employed their own Vlachs for the purpose. The 
journey was by slow stages, as the paths were steep and 
rocky, and many precautions were necessary. In Bosnia 
and the Herzegovina, in spite of the roads and railways, 
much of the traffic is still carried on on pony-back, the 
more valuable goods in gaily painted green boxes, the 
rest packed up in canvas, secured to clumsy wooden 
saddles. Save for the proportions of the caravans, which 
are now much smaller than in the heyday of the Ragusan 
Republic, and for the fact that armed escorts, so far as 
Bosnia and Dalmatia are concerned, are no longer neces- 
sary, but little has changed. The importance of this 
traffic was very considerable, as it was then, as I have 
said, the chief link between the Western world and the 
Slavonic lands ; Ragusa probably did far more to civilise 
the latter than was attempted by the Greeks, with whom 
the Slaves have always been in eternal conflict. 

Vlachs are numerous, and preserve both their language, which belongs 
to the Neo-Latin group, and their nomadic habits. There they still ply 
the trade of cattle-drovers or that of wandering merchants. See Jire^ek, 
op, cit^ p. 60; also his Wlachen und Maurowktcken, passim; and 
Turkey in Europe^ by " Odysseus." 




T he pri nc ipal route from the coast was that fro m 
Ra gusa to Nis. in Servia. where it joined the great road 
^ from Hungary to Constantinople via Bclg rad. The 

caravan left Ragusa by the Porta Ploce to the east, and 
ascended the slopes of the Monte Sergio to Bergato, the 
Ragusan frontier, situated on a ridge between the valleys 
of Breno and Gionchetto. A few minutes farther on 
the Slave customs station of Ledenici^ was reached. 
Thence the path descends into the broad and fertile 
valley of Trebinjdica to the t own of Trebinj e in the land 
of Hlum, which was usually the first halting-place (five 
or six hours from Ragusa). The caravan encamped 
outside the town, and the merchants and part of the 
escort lodged in the inns. From Trebinje the march 
was resumed up the course of the Trebinjc^ica past 
Ljubomir to Bilek or Bile<5e ; then along what is now 
the Montenegrin frontier through dense forests to Crnica, 
where in 1380 a Ragusan commercial colony was estab- 
lished ; thence past the castle of Kliu<5 ( = key), which 
was afterwards the stronghold of the Vojvod Sandalj 
Hranic into the basin of Gack o,' close to the watershed 
between the Adriatic and the Black Sea. The country 
about here is fertile, and offers good pasturage. The 
Sutieska or Sutiska gorge was next entered, one of the 
finest tracts of scenery in the Balkans, guarded by the 
two castles of Vratar ; there was an important customs 
station here in the fifteenth century, at the time of Duke 
Stephen Kosa6i, who levied a toll on all caravans. The 

^ Afterwards called Carina = custom house. 

^ Ge^cha or Ge9echa in the Ragusan documents, mentioned as early 
as 1275. 



route is so narrow at this point that a small body of men ' 
could hold a whole army at bay. The French traveller Des , 
Hayes de Courmenin, who wrote in 1621, mentions an 
iron chain by which the path could be closed in war time. 
On emerging from the gorge the swirling waters of 
the Drina are reached, on the banks of which were a 
number of castles and several trading stations ; the most 
important of these was Chot6a (now Fo6t) ^ on the right 
bank, with a wooden bridge ; under the Turks it was 
for a long time the residence of the Sandfakbeg of the 
Herzegovina, and is still a town of some consequence. 
Another station was Ustikolina^ where there was a 
Ra p ;usan colonv . first mentioned in 1399. A day's 
march farther on is the town o f GoraMa^ guarded by the ^ 

castle of Samobor, after which the route proceeds in a 
south-easterly direction over the finely wooded Metalka 
saddle, whence an extensive view of the mountains of 
Montenegro, Servia, Bosnia, and Albania is obtained, to 
Breznica.^ This was an important centre in Roman times, 
and the remains of a large Roman settlement (name un- 
known) have been unearthed close by. In the Middle 
Ages it w as the m e eting point of three trade routes — 
one to Ragusa^ one to Ni§ and Constantinople, and a 
third to Cattaro via the^ Tara g^orge^ the source of the 
Piva, the castle of Onogost, Nik§i<5, and G rahovo. Fro m 
ElsxJLje the route travelled through what is now the 
Sandiak of Novibazar to Priepolje on the Lim, a favourite 
halting-place of the Ragusan merchants in the fourteenth 

1 Now called Plevlje (Turkish, Taifydia) in the Sandlak of Novi- 
bazar. This stream^ which flows through the town^ is still called the 
Breznica, and a neighbouring monastery Vrhobreznicashigh Breznica. 


century. On the opposite side of the river are the ruins 
of a fine large castle guarding the road, a stronghold of 
King Stephen Vladislav, who also built the adjoining 
monastery of MileSeva.^ A| few miles farther on was 
the point which was afterwards the eastern frontier of 
Stephen Kosa£a*s duchy. Another day's march brings 
us to Senica or Senice, which was often the residence 
of the Nemanjid rulers of Servia. Here the route from 
Ragusa joined the one from Northern and Eastern 
Bosnia;^ at RaSka the two routes again separate, 
one going southwards to Salonica, the other eastwards 
to Ni§. Just beyond Raska, in the latter direction, 
was Trgoviste (market-place), often mentioned between 
1345 and 1 45^ where a Ragusan colo ny was established. 
Two-thirds of the way from Ragusa to Ni§ were now 
accomplished. TrgoviSte was the centre of the great 
Servian Empire, and the surroundings abound in ruins 
and memories of the Nemanjid Tsars. At the end of 
the fifteenth century thd town is alluded to as Novibazar 
(New Bazar, Yeni Bazar in Turkish)! Not far ofF, in 
the valley of the RaSka, are the remains of some Roman 
baths, and here was probably the site of the ancient Ras 
(mentioned in the tenth and eleventh centuries), which 
gave its name to the whole country (Rascia). From 
Trgoviste the route proceeded by the Ibar valley through 

* In the sixteenth century castle and monastery were still in good 
repair, and the latter was inhabited by fifty monks^ and contained the 
body of St Saba, the patron saint of the Southern Slaves (see Zen's 
Diary in Starine x. of South-Slav. Acad.). The body was removed and 
burnt by the Turks in 1 595, and the building fell into ruins by the end 
of the eighteenth century. Priepolje is now the southernmost point 
garrisoned by Austria in the Sandiak of Novibazar. 

* Mentioned by the Lib, Re/, in 1322. 


the mining district of the Monte Argentaro to Toplica, 
Prokoplje, and Ni§, The whole journey took fifteen 
days in favourable wea ther, prom Ni§ onwards fjjfi. 
R^gusan caravans followed the .£reat^ road to ^Con- ^ 
stantinople or went to Bulgraria, where they had con- 
siderab le trade an d at least one colony at Vidin, in 
consequence of the privileges obtained from the Bulgarian 


A nother much frequented c aravan route was that ; 
whic h started at the mouth o f the Narenta and passed 
t hrough Bosnia and Serv ia. Ragusan goods were trans- 
ported either wholly by sea round Sabbioncello or via 
Stagno to the little island of Osinj in the river delta, 
where a trading depot was opened. Close by were 
several other depots, the most important of which was 
the Forum Narenti (called Driva by the Slaves), with 
a large customs station, salt stores, and a Ragusan 
colony. Later it was supplanted by the Venetian castle 
of Gabela or Gabella.^ The caravans travelled from the 
mo uth of the Narenta through the land of Hlum, ^ 
following the course of the river to Blagaj, the residence 
of the lords of Hlum (afterwards Dukes of St. Saba or 
the Herzegovina), above the spot where the river Buna 
springs full-grown from the rocks.* The route con- 
tinued up the Narenta valley, as the railway does to-day, 
past Konjica, which was to play an important part in 
later times, over the Ivan Pass to Vispko in the centre of 

^ For this route see Benedetto Ramberti, Libri. Tre delle cost dei 
Turchi^ lib. i. 

^ There is still a village of that name. 

' Mostar did not exist in the Middle Ages. The ruins of Blagaj still 
form an imposing mass. 


Bosnia, the castle of the Bani. Below was the town of 
Podvisoko (Sotto-Visochi in Ragusan documents), on the 
banks of the river Bosna. Between 1348 and 1430 this 
was the commercial capital of the country and the seat 
of important trading communities. From Visoko the 
routg proce eded _to Jplovo and Borag ^ near Vlasenica,^ 
where it bran ched off ^nto . Jthree. One led eastward to 
v/ Srebrni ca, the centre of the silver-mining district^^ an d 

Rudnik ; ano ther went northwards to Soli ; the main 
route went to Kuflat, well known as a trading station in 
the fourteenth century, with a large Ragusan colony > to 
Zvomik, and a c ross the D rin a to Sirmia and Belgrad. 
At Sirmia ?which was on the ruins of the Roman Syr- 
mium, the Ragusans ha d a flourishing: settlement pro- 
^ tected by the Kings of Hungary, until the town was 

burnt by the Turks in 1396. Its importance was due 
to its position as a starting point for the Ragusan traders 
going to all parts of Hungary.* 

These various routes were c alled cqU^ 

' y de Bosstna in t he Ragusan documents. The routi 

V g^ar^pH from fh^ (;(^ ^st at po ints south of Ragusa were 

denominated the Via de Zenta.^ Ra gusan ve ssels sailed 
down the ., jCQast^ and either dischar ged their g ood s at 
the towns of Antivari and Dulcigno, or sailed for some 

1 The seat of feudal family of the Pavlovidi in the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries. 

*,.5r/^= silver in Servian. 
^Slav. S. Dimitri, Dimitrovica, o r Mitrovica. 

* Jire^ek, op. cit.^ pp. 75-82. 

^ Zenta or Zedda was the name of a district comprising Montenegro 
and that part of Albania between the lake of Scutari and the Adriatic 
coast as &r as Durazzo. The anonymous writer in Matkovid {Stanne x., 
1878, of the South- Slavonic Academy) describes the Via de Zenta. 


distance up the various rivers — the Bojana, the Drim, the 
Mat, the ISmi, the Vrego, the Devol, and the Vojussa. 
This stretch of coast, which had formed part of the 
Byzantine theme of Dyrrhachium, was under Servian 
rule from 11 80 to 1440. 

" In Servian times," writes Prof. Jirefek,^ " this region, 
now so desolate, was in the most flourishing condition, 
and had a large population and numerous beautifully 
situated towns. Even in the sixteenth century Italian 
travellers who ascended the course of the Bojana com- 
pared this green land with its many villages to their own 
fair country. Large Latin and Oriental monasteries stood 
peacefully side by side. Servian, Albanian, and Italian 
were the principal languages spoken. The cities enjoyed 
important privileges, granted by the Servian Kings, Tsars, 
and Despots (later by the BalSici), and their citizens 
occupied important positions in the Government service ; 
the ruling princes themselves often visited these districts. 
The ports plied a busy trade, for from hence goods 
were transported to the Byzantine districts of Macedonia 
and Thrace, as far as Bulgaria and the Mare Majus (Mar 
Maggiore) as the Italians in the Middle Ages called the 
Black Sea." 

The chief city off the coast of Zed da was Antivari, 
situated about four miles from the sea, where the open 
bay of Volovica served as a harbour. Its government, 
like that of Ragusa and Cattaro, was an oligarchical con- 
stitution, in the hands of a numerous and active aristo- 
cracy, under privileges granted by the Servian Tsars. 
The citizens were of Latin origin, and Latin and Italian 

* op. cit.^ p. 63. 


were the official languages, but the inhabitants of the 
surrounding country were Serbs. It was the centre of 
the archiepiscopal see of Northern Albania. After the 
Turkish conquest its importance was reduced to nily and 
nearly all the noble families either died out or emigrated 
to Ragusa. It is not easy to realise that the actual 
Montenegrin village was once a busy commercial city. 
Nothing but a few escutcheons on some of the houses 
bear witness to its past magnificence. 

A few miles farther south is Dulcigno,* which was 
also an autonomous oligarchical Republic, albeit less 
important than Antivari. Here the Roman element was 
always mixed with the Albanian. After the Turkish 
conquest it became a nest of pirates. Close by was the 
Golfo dello Drino, into which the two rivers Bojana and 
Drim (Drino) flowed. Eighteen miles up the course of 
the former was the great Benedictine monastery of San 
Serge and St. Bacchus, round which stood warehouses, 
customs offices, salt stores, shops, and booths, forming a 
centre called San Sergio by the Italians, Sveti Srgj by the 
Serbs ; it retained its importance until the sixteenth 
century.* At the time of Queen Helena, the widow of 
Stephen Uros I., the settlement was under a '^Bajulus 
Regine at Portum Sancti Sergii."* Here the ships 
unloaded their cargoes, which were forwarded to all 

> Ulcinium, Dulcinium ; in Slavonic, Olgun ; in Albanian, Ulkin. 

' On the site of San Sergio is the village of Obotti, which has of late 
acquired some prominence since an Italian steamship company has 
established a service up the Bojana for developing Italian trade. An 
Austrian company has imitated its example, and it seems as if there was 
a chance of reviving the old trade routes once more although of course 
they can never regain their old importance so long as the Turks continue 
to misgovern the land. ' 1290. Jire^ek, op. ^'/., p. 65. 


parts of the interior by caravan ; goods designed for 
Scutari, however, were sometimes transhipped into 
smaller boats and thus carried up to the lake and 
town. The caravan route went past Scutari to the castle 1 
of Danj (now Daino) on the Drim, where the Servian 
kings sometimes resided, and where the route joined that 
from Alessio (Lissos, Alexium, Slav- and Alb-Ljes * ) at ' 
the mouth of the Drim. Thence the caravans proceeded 
to Prizren, which they reached in thirty-three hours by 
a road reputed to be one of the most difficult in the 
Albanian mountains.* The chief halting-places were 
Pilot and Spas , where there was a custom house. Priz- V 
ren, which is on the Bistrica, some distance east of the 
junction of that river with the White Drim, is still a 
large town, on the site of the Roman Therenda.* 
Nemanja conquered it from the Eastern Empire ; in 
1 204 it was in Bulgarian hands ; in the course of the 
century it came once more into Servian possession, and 
was one of the chief cities of the kingdom. King 
Milutin and the Tsars Dusan and Uro§ frequently made 
it their residence, and many ruined castles are found in 
the vicinity. Here was the chief comm ercial factory of ^Ja-^^,. 
the Ragusan s for A l^nia, and they erected two Latin 
churches. From Prizren the routes crossed a fertile and 
well-populated plain, over the watershed between the 
Adriatic and the Black Sea, and into the plain of 
Kossovo. At I.i plj an (Ulpiana and Justiniana Secunda 

* Lissos, Alexium, in Slavonic and Albanian LjeS. 
' Jirecek, pp. 66-7 ; this is now the Mirdit country. 
' The name n/x(5/xdya is first mentioned as a Bulgarian bishopric 
in 1026. 


in Roman times) jt crossed the route from Bosnia to 
galonica ^ reached Novobrdo , and finally Sofia , one of 
the Bulgarian capitals. The first mention of a Ragusan 
merchant in this city is in 1376 ; the Ragusan colony 
became very important at the end of the century 
in Turkish times, when Sofia was the residence of the 
Beglerbeg of Rumelia.* 

The second V ia de ^enta started from the three 
harbours of Antivari via the Sutorman Pass, Bud ua by 
t he bridle palh t o Cs, ^inj e (still in use), and 
ths^rQ^Ld tp^Cetinje. A little further east the three 
bran ches met , and the route proceeded over well-wooded 
mountains, now, alas, bare and desolate, past the ruins 
/ of Doclea jo P odgorica (a day and a half from Cattaro) ; 
then to the Plava lake, one of the fairest spots in Albania, 
but now also one of the most dangerous, on the shores 
of which, according to Professor Stojan Novakovi<f, stood 
the well-known Servian trading centre of Brskovo. Pro- 
fessor Jiredek, however, who has had access to further 
materials, places it in the upper Lim valley. Brskovo 
(Brescoa or Brescoua in Venetian and Ragusan documents) 
was the chief commercial city of Servia, and is mentioned 
as early as the days of King Stephen the First-Crowned 
(i 196-1228). It was principally frequented by the 
people of Ragusa and Cattaro, and to a lesser extent by 
the Venetians. The various products of the districts 
were collected here for export to the coast, while 
the caravans from the coast brought foreign goods 

' Jire^ek, p. 68. The Beglerbeg of Rumelia was the commander-in- 
chief of the Turkish armies in Europe. 


for distribution throughout Servia. The customs, 
which were usually farmed out to Ragusans, were a 
source of considerable revenue to the Servian kings. 
Here, as in some other mining towns, was also a mint, 
where the s^rossi di Brescova were coined.^ The R agusa n 
colony; was numerous and influential, containing mem- ^ 
bers of some of the noblest families.* Beyond Brsko 
came Pe^ (Ipek in Turkish), an archiepiscopal, and 
later patriarchal, see (until 1766). Pec, too, enjoyed >/ 
considerable traffic, and had a Rayusan colony in the 
fourteenth century. 

The post f rom Venice to Constantinople went by 
thi s route in the sixteenth century. As soon as the ship 
arrived the despatches were handed to the messengers 
(they were always natives from two Montenegrin villages), 
who rode off with them via Plava, Pe6, Novoselo, PriS- 
tina, Samokov, and Philippopolis, reaching the Bosporus 
in eighteen days.* 

Throu ghout S e rvia^ B osnia^ IJlum^ the Zeta, and | v 
Bul garia ther e were thus iiunMx.QUS. Ragusan colonies. 1 
As a rule mining was the chief industry, and it was in jy 
the mming districts that the commercial settlements were ! 
to be found. In Roman times the mines of lUyria were 
well known; they were abandoned at the time of the 
barbarian inroads, and it was not until the twelfth and 

^ The Servian king imitated the Venetian ducats, but with a con- 
siderable amount of base metal, whence Dante's allusion to the punish- 
ment awaiting '* quel di Rascia, che mal aggiust6 il conio di Vinegia^" 
Paradiso^ xix. 140- 141. 

' Ragusan consul at Brskovo mentioned in 1280. Its importance 
ceased with the Turkish conquest. 

^ Jire^ek, p. 71, Bolizza. 




thirteenth centuries, at the time of the rise of the Serb 
States, that the industry revived. Wonderful tales were 
told by mediaeval travellers of the richness of the Balkan 
mines. As late as 1453 the Greek Critobulus asserted 
that gold and silver sprang from the earth like water, 
and that wherever you dug you found large deposits of 
the precious metals, in greater quantities than in the 
Indies.^ King Stephen Uros II. Milutin (i 282-1 320) 
was the first to summon in German miners, called Sasi {i.e. 
Saxons), so as to benefit by their superior skill, but the 
Ragusans were also numerous. Many of the technical 
terms relating to mining still used in Bosnia are of 
German origin : oraf = On ; hutman = HUttenmann ; karan 
= Karren. The ore was extracted from galleries and 
shafts, many of which are still in existence. The refining 
of the metal was executed at Ragusa or Venice. 

Gold, silver, lead, and iron were the chief products 
of the Bosnian and Servian mines. Gold , of which the 
earliest mention is in 1253, was found chiefly in the 
* neighbourhood o f Novpb.rdfi.CNovus Mons, Nouomonte, 
', NofioTrvpyop)y which wa s for^a Jong t ime the largest ci ty 
\ in the interio r of the Balkan peninsula be tween the plain 
\ of K ossovo and the Bulgar ian Morava, three miles east 
of PriStina. Silver, however, was found in much larger 
quantities. Of this metal two kinds are mentioned in 
the Ragusan annals, i.e. argento bianco (white silver) and 
argento de glama {glamsko srebro in Slavonic), which had 
a slight gold alloy. Srebrnica was the chief centre for 
the silver-mining industry. Lead was another important 

> Critobulus, ii. 7, 8, in Fragm, Hist, Graca^ v. 109. 


product, and was in much request for the roofing of 
houses and churches. Sometimes a whole caravan of 
300 horses journeyed from the mining districts to 
Ragusa laden with nothing but lead. The iron output 
gave rise to various active industries, both locally and at 
Ragusa, where Bosnian iron-workers were often employed 
by the Republic. A certain amount of copper was also 
found, and there were tin and quicksilver mines in the 
KreSevo district. The principal mining cen tres thus 
were : Kre§evo and Fojnica : ^ Sreb renica, near the Drina, 
chiefly for si lver:^ Zvornik on the Drina. for lead:* 
Rudnik, where th ere are traces of Roman mines men- 
tioned by Ragu§^Qjdocurnents_ of the thirteenth century; 
Kopaonik, for silver and iron ; * Novob rdo. for gold and 
other metals : ^ Ku dey o and Brskovo, which flourished at 
the end of the thirteenth century,* 

Each mining centre usually consisted of a castle on a 
hill, wherein dwelt the Vojvod, or feudal lord, repre- 
senting the King or Tsar, and a town below with a 
market, where the miners and merchants dwelt. In 
times of danger the whole community could take shelter 
in the castle.^ The Saxons, as we have seen, were the 

' First mentioned in 1349. 

* First mentioned in 1376. 
^ Mentioned in 141 2. 

* Mentioned in 1346. 
^ Mentioned in 1350. 

" Jire^ek, op. a/., 41-58. A very elaborate and interesting account of 
the Bosnian and Servian mines is given in this work. 

' This division is reflected in the prefixes Gomji and Donji (upper 
and lower)> which are frequently found attached to the names of Bosnian 
and Servian towns. 



most numerous of the foreign settlers, and the Ragusans 
came immediately after them. At Novobrdo early in 
the fifteenth century we find members of nearly all the 
noblest Ragusan families — Bobali, Benessa, Menze, Rag- 
nina, Resti, Gozze, Caboga, &c. The Ragusans were 
the principal merchants and carriers, and the provision 
trade was a lmost wholly in their hands. They sold 
s upplies in exchange for raw metal. There were also 
merchants from the other Dalmatian towns, from Italy, 
especially from Venice, and a few natives. The mining 
towns on the whole had a marked Latin character, and 
they were' all provided with at least one Latin church,^ 
under the authority of the Bishop of Cattaro. There 
were also several Franciscan monasteries, which after- 
wards ministered to the religious needs of the native 
Catholics in Turkish times; some of them still exist. 
The chief authority in the town was, as I have said, the 
Servian Vojvod, but the head of the mining and mercan- 
tile community was the Conte dei Purgari Vaoturchi. 
The taxes and customs were farmed to Ragusan or 
Cattarine speculators, and in fact most of the higher 
financial official? in the South-Slavonic States, including 
the Protovestiars (Finance Ministers), were usually natives 
of those cities. The Ragusans who owned houses were 
bound to bear arms in defence of the castle and market- 
town, but the others were exempt. If a dispute arose 
between them and the Saxons or the Serbs the question 

^ According to Farlati^ it is owing to the Ragusans that some traces 
of Latin Christianity survived in these lands of schism and heresy. 

' Purgari is evidently derived from the German word BUrger^ but 
the etymology of Vaoturchi is unknown (Jire^ek). 


was decided by an arbitration commission composed of 
six Ragusans and six Saxons or Serbs. Ragusan creditors 
enjoyed the privilege of being able to imprison their 
debtors, provided they too were Ragusans, in their own 
houses. The heads of the Ragusan community were the 
consul and two judges, usually noblemen appointed by 
the Republic. In 1332 a consul was appointed to reside 
at the Royal Court, which was at Prizren or Skopje 
(Oskab).^ This consul was to travel about the country, 
visiting all the market-towns, mining centres, and fairs, 
with a view to learning what openings there were for 
Ragusan trade, as well as all the towns where Ragusan 
colonies were already established. The different mints 
were under the superintendence of the Vojvods and of 
t\it gabellotti (tax-farmers) or aurifices (goldsmiths), usually 
Ragusans or Dalmatians. In the tenth century Con- 
stantine Porphyrogenitus alludes to the use of coinage 
by the Ragusans, but for a long time afterwards trade 
continued to be carried on by means of barter. Thus in 
1280 we find a Ragusan selling a horse to a fellow- 
citizen for sixteen ells of cloth, and even as late as 1322, 
although mints were established in various places, a 
commercial treaty between Stephen, Banus of Bosnia, 
and Ragusa alludes to the fact that cattle were used for 
payments of indemnities.* 

Communications between Ragusa and the settlements 
in the interior were carried on by means of couriers 

* Lib, Ref.y March 8, 1332, p. 341. 

' Miklosich, Monumenta Serbica, Codice Geno (Ragusa) ; Jire^ek, op, 
cit.f p. 60. 



(cursoresj corrieriy Slav, kniitnici)^ who were instituted 
early in the fourteenth century, and lasted until the fall 
of the Republic. They carried official correspondence 
from the Republic to the ambassadors and consuls, and 
legal notices, writs, reports of judicial proceedings, &c., 
to the Ragusan traders. They were not allowed to 
convey private correspondence, which was usually sent 
by caravan, or in the case of the chief merchants by their 
own special messengers, save on the return journey. 
The time employed by these official messengers was 
usually two days from Ragusa to Blagaj (Mostar), four 
or five to Visoko or Sutieska, five or six to PraCa, seven 
or eight to Srebrnica, ten to Zvornik, twelve to Syrmium, 
seven to Rudnik or Novobrdo, fifteen to Constantinople. 
In bad weather, when the passes were blocked with snow, 
double the time was often necessary to traverse the same 
distance, which was the time required by the caravans in 
favourable weather. The envoys sent to Constantinople 
with the tribute to the Sultan took as much as two 
months.^ The official correspondence to the various 
Ragusan representatives in the East is preserved in the 
archives of Ragusa in 138 volumes, under the heading of 
Lettere e Commissioni di Levante. 

This traffic proved to be a source of great wealth 
for the citizens, who in time came almost to enjoy a 
monopoly of the inland trade in this part of the Balkan 
peninsula. But great as were the privileges which they 
enjoyed, merchants and miners were subject to depreda- 

* Jire^ek, op, cif,^ 60 ; Nicolas dc Nicolay, Navigations et peregrina- 
tions orientates^ Lyon, 1 568 


tions and arbitrary confiscations at the hands of the 
Servian kings, the Bosnian Bani, or the various minor 
feudatories. Most of the quarrels between Ragusa and 
the Slavonic States were caused by these depredations, 
which after all were natural enough. The Ragusan 
merchants succeeded in accumulating large fortunes by 
intelligent management and indefatigable industry, which 
the less hard-working Slaves, devoted to the arts of war, 
were incapable of acquiring. Whenever the King or 
vassal lord was in need of money, what could be simpler 
than to pounce down upon a richly-laden caravan on its 
way to or from the coast and plunder it or take heavy 
toll of it, or to impose fresh taxes on the wealthy 
colonies of "Uitlanders" at Rudnik, Srebrnica, or 
Brskovo.^ Ragusa was often forced to pay tribute to 
this or that sovereign to ensure safety from depredation, 
and in those days the line of division between, feudalism 
and brigandage was very vague. But the mercantile 
communities were quite willing to undergo the risks 
for the sake of the large profits which they made. 
There can be no doubt that in this way a certain 
amount of civilisation was introduced into these lands 
which would otherwise have remained quite without 
the pale. The currents of western thought and culture 
found their way into Bosnia and Servia by way of 
Ragusa and the other Dalmatian towns rather than by 
Constantinople.^ These civilising influences increased 

1 In Servia, Byzantine influence was stronger and Italian- Dalmatian 
influence weaker than in Bosnia, as is attested by the few surviving 
churches of the pre-Turkish period. But in both countries contact with 
the Adriatic towns was closer than with the Eastern Empire. 

hS the republic of ragusa 

and spread until the curse of the Turkish conquest 
fell on the land like a blight, from which it is only 
now beginning slowly and painfully to recover. 

This mercantile development naturally led to the 
formation of numerous guilds or confraternities. Like 
other Ragusan institutions, they were based on Venetian 
models, and were really the beginnings of the modem 
mutual aid societies on a religious groundwork. Among 
the earliest of these are that of the joiners, founded in 
1266; that of St. Michael, founded in 1290; that of 
the goldsmiths (1306), that of Rosgiato (1321), and 
that of St. Anthony the Abbot (1348). During the 
Venetian period they were under strict Government 
supervision, but after 1358 they were invested with 
political privileges and exemptions.^ 

1 Gelcich, Ragusa^ p. 32. 




DURING the Venetian period, with the increasing 
wealth and consequence of Ragusa, the city itself 
was beautified by the erection of numerous 
handsome buildings, both lay and ecclesiastical, and by 
1358 it was almost entirely reconstructed. In its early 
days the walls, the castle, and one or two churches were 
the only .stone edifices ; all the rest of the town was 
of timber. Throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries the defences were increased, new bastions 
erected, and the older walls strengthened. The city 
now occupied both the seaward ridge and the slopes 
of Monte Sergio. The walls by which it was sur- 
rounded climbed painfully over the rocky eminences on 
each side, and dropped down almost to the sea-level 
in between. The fortifications did not acquire their 
present aspect until the sixteenth century, but parts of 
them were begun much earlier. Four towers were 
erected at the entrance of the harbour on the south-east 
side of the town, of which two — San Luca and San 
Giovanni — still survive. The latter, which is now called 
the Forte Molo, a huge round bastion, has been con- 
siderably altered in later times ; San Luca has preserved 
more of its original character. Of the tower called the 


Campana Morta (the dead bell)/ few traces beyond the 
name survives. The sea-tower which occupies its site 
is evidently of a much later date. These towers were 
garrisoned by the town guard of 1 27 men, who were chosen 
by lot from the citizens every month, and increased in 
times of danger.* Other towers were built at intervals 
along the walls, and their defence was entrusted to the 
private families whose houses they adjoined. Of these 
the most important was the Torre Menze or Min<feta, 
one of the most beautiful features of the city. Its 
erection was decreed on July 3, 1 3 1 9, but it was entirely 
rebuilt in the fifteenth century, and considerably altered 
in the sixteenth. It stands on one of the highest points 
of the town on the Monte Sergio. 

Of the other buildings of this time there are some 
important remains, from which we may desume a fair 
idea of Ragusan architecture under the Venetians. Its 
characteristic note at all times is the fact that early forms 
were preserved here, as in other parts of Dalmatia, down 
to a much later date than in the rest of Europe. The 
style is a mixture of Italian with an Oriental touch, and 
occasionally, according to Mr. Jackson, even a German 
element. During the Venetian age traces of Byzantine 
art still survive, and in buildings of the fourteenth cen- 
tury, a time when Italian Gothic was most flourishing, 

1 So called because its bell was tolled to announce an execution of 
a criminal, a proclamation of exile, or the approach of a hostile fleet 
(Gelcich, op, city p. 278). 

'In 1346 forty additional sentries were added and distributed among 
the posts, and an extra body of archers was enrolled {Ub. Re/.^ i., March 
24, p. 229). Of course when military expeditions were organised a much 
larger levy was made both in the city and in the territory. 


we find the round arch of Romanesque art. But Ragusan 
builders did not follow any very distinct system. The 
various styles were no more than tapped by them. None 
were fully developed; and in^very building, from which- 
ever point of view we regard it, we find many deviations 
from strict orthodoxy. Some of the Ragusan architects 
and master-masons had been educated in Italy, others 
perhaps at Constantinople, but no part of their work 
shows an absolute grasp over any definite style. Never- 
theless it is extremely interesting, and proves them by 
no means deficient in artistic sense. Many of the build- 
ings of this little Republic are of great beauty, and the 
whole ensemble of edifices compares favourably with 
many a more famous Italian town. 

The principal buildings erected or completed between 
1200 and 1350 are the following : The cathedral church 
of Santa Maria (i 206-1 250), San Biagio (1348), the 
church and monastery of the Franciscans (begun 13 19), 
the Dominican church and monastery (i 254-1 306), the 
Castello (1350, on the site of an earlier building), and the 
Sponza or custom house, begun early in the fourteenth 
century. The cathedral was destroyed by the earthquake 
of 1667, San Biagio by fire in 1706, the Castello sup- 
planted by another building in 1388. The Franciscan 
and Dominican churches were almost entirely rebuilt in 
later times, but of their monasteries much remains, and 
the cloisters are in their original state. The Sponza, 
too, survives, although the top story, the facade, and 
the portico were added subsequently. 

What the Duomo was like we can only discover from 
the somewhat confused account of De Diversis, and from 


the model of the town in the hands of the silver statuette 
of San Biagio. According to local tradition, it was erected 
through the munificence of Richard GEur-de-Lion, King 
of England, who on returning from the Holy Land 
encountered a terrible storm off Corfu, and made a vow 
that he would build a church to the Virgin on the spot 
where he should first touch 
land in safety. After being 
tossed about for several days 
he was able to land on the 
island of Lacroma, near Ragusa. 
In fulfilment of his vow he 
built the church, at the request 
of the citizens, in Ragusa itself, 
as well as a small chapel on the 
island. There is, however, no 
evidence of the truth of this 
story, and none of the contem- 
porary accounts of Richard's 
peregrinations even mention 
^^..-K Ragusa, while the entries in 

the Ragusan archives state that the church was built 
with the contributions of the nobles. According to De 
Diversis, it was the most beautiful church in Dalmatia. 
It consisted of a nave and side aisles separated by great 
columns; and from the above-mentioned model of the 
city we see that it had a cupola mounted on a drum 
pierced with windows and a clerestory. De Diversis also 
speaks of a curious ambulatory formed by small columns 
outside the church, the walls of which were ornamented 
with figures of animals. In the choir was the high altar, . 


with a pala of silver under a beautifii! ciborium sup- 
ported on four pillars. The floors were of mosaic, and 
the windows alt filled with stained glass. On the walls 
were depicted scenes from the Old Testament and the 
New. All this bespeaks a Romanesque building with 
traces of Byzantine art. But atas ! nothing remains of 
this exquisite piece of architecture ; the present church 
(i67i-i7i3)isa large classical 
edifice with barocco ornamen- 

The original church of San 
Biagio was begun in 1348 as 
a votive offering after the 
plague of that year. From 
De Diversis's description it was 
very similar to the Duomo, 
but on a smaller scale. It 
suffered little damage from the 
earthquake, but was burnt 
down in 1706. Both this 
church and the Duomo are 

fairly good examples of an unattractive style, and the 
stone of which they are built is of a rich mellow tone. 

The two stately piles at each end of the town — the 
Franciscan and Dominican monasteries — have fortunately 
preserved much of their original character. The latter 
was begun after the destruction of the first Franciscan 
house outside the Porta Pile by the Slaves in 13 19, and 
the new building was erected just within the gate, which 
its inmates were to guard in times of danger. The 
church and a large part of the monastery have been 



J rebuilt since the earthquake, although here and there a 

few interesting details remain. Thus on the south side, 
opening on to the Stradone, there is a handsome doorway 
in the Venetian Gothic style, surmounted by a PiV/^i, a 
very fair piece of sculpture ; the date is probably the 
end of the fifteenth century. In the sacristy we find a 
Renaissance lavabo of carved stone. The campanile 
marks the transition from the Romanesque to the 
Gothic. The east window of the lower story and those 
on the second story are Venetian Gothic, while the 
south window of the lower story is round-arched. The 
top story with the cupola was rebuilt after the earth- 
quake. But it is in the cloister that the chief interest 
of the building lies, a cloister which Mr. T. G. Jackson 
calls '* one of the most singular pieces of architecture I 
have ever seen."^ Here we observe the most notable 
feature of Dalmatian architecture in all its force, for 
although its date is later than 1319 it is thoroughly 
Romanesque in character, and all the arches are round. 
It consists of a courtyard with three bays opening out 
into it on each side ; the openings are divided into six 
round-headed lights, each head being pierced by a large 
circular light. A series of coupled octagonal shafts 
standing one behind the other, with a common base and 
common abacus, but separate capitals, serve as mullions to 
the arches. The capitals are extremely quaint and curious. 
Each one is different from its fellows, and the architect 
seems to have let his fancy run riot in designing them, 
" recalling the wildest and most grotesque fancies of early 
Romanesque work."* Some are adorned with simple 

^ T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia^ the Quamero, and Istria^ ii. p. 372. 

' Jackson, ibid. 


foliage, spiral volutes, and block leaves, but on others we 
find hideous grinning faces, dragons, strange uncouth 
monsters, masks, dogs, and all manner of fanciful orna- 
ments. Judged by ordinary standards, we should take 
them to be work of the twelfth or thirteenth century, 
but as a matter of fact they are of a much later date. 
According to Eitelberger, these early forms were preserved 
in most of the monasteries of the East when they had given 
place to Gothic in Western Europe.^ The workmanship 
of these capitals, like much Ragusan carving, is somewhat 
rough and unfinished, but for this the material, which is 
not sufficiently hard, may be partly responsible. Of the 
open circles in the heads of the opening, the centre one on 
each side of the cloister is larger, and ornamented with a 
rich border of acanthus leaves; the others are cusped. 
Possibly it was intended that they should all contain some 
ornamentation, and indeed the large round openings 
look somewhat bare. Above the cloister is an elegant 
balustrade, of which only one side survived the earth- 
quake, but a few years ago it was restored according to 
the original design. The name of the architeet has been 
preserved in an inscription in the cloister itself : 

+ S • DE • MAGIST 



He was one Mycha of Antivari, a town where 
Byzantine influence was stronger than at Ragusa. The 

* R. von Eitelberger von Edelberg, Die Mittelalterliche Kunsi- 
denkmale Dalmaiiens, in his GcsammelU Kunsthistarische Werke^ iv. 

PP- 343» 344. 


inscription has no date, but it is close to .two others 
of 1363 and 1428, and the style of the lettering, 
according to Jackson, is even earlier than 1363. The 
building was not begun until after 13199 when the 
former Franciscan monastery was destroyed, so that the 
date is somewhere between 13 19 and 1363. Within the 
enclosure are orange trees and evergreen shrubs, and a 
graceful little fountain is placed in the centre ; the whole 
scene forms a most charming picture of mediaeval 
monastic life. A second cloister higher up the hillside 
served as a garden where the simples for the monks* 
pharmacy were grown. This, too, is a delightful old- 
world nook. 

At the opposite end of the town, just inside the 
Porta Ploce, stands the massive group of the Domini- 
can church and monastery. These buildings originally 
formed the southern bulwark of the town, the monks 
themselves, like the Franciscans, being entrusted with the 
defence of the gate ; but later a second wall was built 
outside it. The church, which was begun in 1245 and 
completed in 1360, consists of a vast nave separated from 
a polygonal choir by a high arch. The building is ex- 
tremely bare ; the traces of Gothic arches and clustered 
pillars form a sort of skeleton, around which the existing 
church was constructed in the seventeenth century. In 
the sacristy there are a few more fragments of early work, 
and the south doorway, with a round arch of many 
receding orders under an ogee crocketed hood mould, 
also belongs to the original church. Jackson notices a 
strong flavour of German Gothic in it. There are several 
pointed windows of extreme simplicity, and a large round 


one decorated with an outside frill of small Venetian 
arches. The campanile was begun in 1424^ by Fra 
Stefano, a Dominican, but it was not completed in 1440, 
for De Diversis says of it, " nondum perfectum, in dies 
crescit.** It has round arches and shafts set back to the 
centre of the wall. 

But as in the Franciscan monastery, the cloister is 
almost untouched. It is an irregular square, with five 
bays on each side, each bay being divided by three lights, 
the head pierced by two irregular lights above. The style 
is a curious medley " of Gothic and Renaissance, of forms 
understood and otherwise, as indeed could only occur in a 
land which, being on the borders of Eastern and Western 
culture, did not possess the power to create and execute 
the various styles correctly." * The arches of the bays 
are round, but the inside work has more the character of 
Venetian Gothic, especially in the foliage. The shield of 
the semicircular head is pierced by quatrefoil lights en- 
circled alternately with an ornament of interlacing circles 
almost Byzantine in character. The Dalmatian architect 
had doubtless seen Gothic work in Italy, but ** had failed 
to grasp the idea of receding orders in the arch, or con- 
sistent mouldings in his tracery.*'* The columns with 
their caps and bases are of a severely antique character. 
But in spite of all deviations from architectural orthodoxy 
this cloister, set off by cherry and orange trees and ever- 
green shrubs, is, after the Franciscan cloister, one of the 
loveliest monastic buildings in Dalmatia. 

The secular buildings, with one notable exception, 

^ Gelcichy Ragusa^ 17, 23. ' Eitelberger, op* cit,^ p. 334. 

' Jackson, ibid. 


belong to a later period. The exception is the Sponza ^ 
or custom house, a large part of which was built in the 
early fourteenth century. It stands at the end of the 
Stradone, opposite the Piazza and the church of San 
Biagio, and consists of three stories built round a court- 
yard. The ground floor and first floor were probably 
built in the first years of the thirteenth century.* The 
top story, the facade, and the portico belong to the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The oblong courtyard 
is surrounded on the lower story by vaulted arcades of 
round arches with square sofifits supported on short plain 
solid octagonal columns, without bases (like those of 
the Ducal Palace at Venice), and short capitals opening 
out into square abaci. The second stpry is also arcaded, 
and has twice as many window openings as the lower 
story has arches, round at the two ends and pointed on 
the sides, with square piers over the columns below and 
round columns over the centres of the arches ; their 
capitals are adorned with foliage, some d crochet^ and 
some with deflected leaves at the angles. According to 
Jackson, all this part is of the same period, in spite of 
the fact that some of the openings are round and some 
pointed. The general effect is one of extreme simplicity 
and sobriety ; it is, as Jackson says truly, ** an admirable 
piece of plain, useful, and not ungraceful architecture, not 
too showy for the commonplace purposes of the building, 

' The word sponza was also applied to open loggie, built on the 
borders of the Republic as resting-places for the caravans. One of these 
existed at S. Michele della Cresta (1356), and another by the Canale di 
Narenta (Gelcich, p. 73). 

^ De Diversis says it was enlarged in 13 12. 


and yet well proportioned and carefully built." ^ Round 
the courtyard are the various warehouses, over the doors 
of which are the names of different saints. Above the 
end arch is the inscription : — 


The early work ends with the moulded stringcourse 
above the second story ; the third story, which has 
plain square windows, bears the date 1520 and the mono- 
gram IHS, found on so many houses in Ragusa, to com- 
memorate the earthquake of that year. The fa9ade has 
a portico of five handsome round arches in the Renais- 
sance style, the columns of which are adorned with 
elaborate capitals ; many of these have been renewed. 
Above is a row of windows in the purest Venetian style 
of the fifteenth century. The central window is a three- 
light aperture, the two side ones are of a single light. 
The windows of the third story are square like those 
looking on the courtyard. In the centre is a niche with 
a statue of St. Blaize, while the row of pinnacles on the 
roof call to mind many a Venetian palazzo. In spite of 
all incongruities the Sponza is a very attractive building, 
full of quaint grace and good work. 

It has many interesting associations with Ragusan 
history. It was here that the caravans about to start on 
their perilous journeys through the wild Balkan lands 
formed up, and those which arrived at Ragusa first 
stopped. Every bale of goods arriving at or departing 
from the city, by sea or land, had to be first examined at 

' op, cit,^ ii. 360. 


the Sponza, where the proper amount of duty was assessed 
and paid. All business was transacted at or around this 
building. To this day it serves as a custom-house, and 
still forms a picturesque background for the crowds of 
peasants and traders from all parts of Dalmatia, the 
Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania who congregate 
here on market days, although the traffic has declined 
both in bulk and in value since the palmy days of the 
Republic. The first floor was used in later years for 
literary and learned societies and entertainments. The 
second floor was the mint. 

Of the Castello no traces now remain, its place having 
been taken by the Rector's Palace, with which we shall 
deal later on. The buildings we have described were 
almost the only stone edifices in the town. All the rest, 
including the convent of the Clarisse, founded in 1290, 
were of timber.^ Ragusa was in great part destroyed by 
fire in 1292, and rebuilt shortly afterwards, mostly of 
wood, as before. In a Reformatio of 1320 the Govern- 
ment published a decree against the excessive use of 
timber in construction. But the city was improving in 
various ways. The streets were wider and more regular, 
and stone steps were built on either side of the Stradone 
to make the higher quarters more accessible. Elaborate 
rules were issued to ensure the solidity of the roofs and 
chimneys, and by 1355 ^^^ town was paved with brick.* 
The steep streets on the seaward ridge and on the eight 
slopes of Monte Sergio began to assume their present 
aspect, although but few details of fourteenth-century 
domestic architecture have remained. There are several 

' Gelcich, p. 19. ' IbiiLi p. 20. 

ART i6i 

houses in the Venetian Gothic style, but these were built 
during the Hungarian occupation, the artistic influence 
of Venice outlasting her political suzerainty. 

Of the plastic arts we find as yet only slight begin- 
nings, but we may mention a few early paintings in the 
Dominican church. A large crucifix in the Byzantine 
style, which hangs over the choir arch, was vowed during 
the black death of 1348. In the sacristy there is a 
polyptych in ten sections, with the Baptism of Christ 
in the centre of the lower row, and St. Michael, St. 
Nicholas, St. Blaize, and St. Stephen ; the Virgin, with 
St. Peter, St. Dominic, St. Peter Martyr, and St. Francis 
above. The work is very primitive; but if it be by a 
local master, it is probably of a later date than the style 
suggests. The robes are very rich and profusely gilt, 
but the eff^ect is garish rather than brilliant, although 
restoration may perhaps be responsible for this. A 
Byzantine Madonna and Child in red is in the same 
church between the nave and the transept. 

In the city records there are occasional entries allud- 
ing to the engagement of painters, and in 1344 a certain 
Magister Bernardus was commissioned to paint the new 
hall of the communal palace, which he was to decorate 
" pomis et stellis auratis.'* No trace of this work has 

An interesting piece of sculpture is the bas-relief of 
St. Blaize on a wall near the Porta Ploce. The figure 
is seen in profile, and carries a crozier with a Lamb in 
the crook. It is somewhat stifF and Oriental in pose, but 
full of character. Curiously enough, it is the only really 
good statue of the city's patron saint at Ragusa. Other 



I < 


images may be seen over the gates, on the fortifications, 
and on various buildings, but they are all colourless and 
of very rough workmanship. A plaque of marble, with 
figures in high relief, in the sacristy of the Franciscan 
church, deserves notice. It is said to be thirteenth- 
century work of the Isola di Mezzo. 

During the next two hundred years architecture at- 
tains to its full development, and at least one painter 
arises whose work is of considerable value, while the 
goldsmith's and silversmith's art come to occupy an 
important place. 



BY the treaty of 1358 the whole eastern shore of 
I the Adriatic as far as Durazzo was ceded to 
Hungary, but as a matter of fact that Power only 
extended its occupation as far as Ragusa. Not having 
a strong fleet, King Louis feared that the more southern 
cities would be difficult to hold, and he therefore never 
exercised his treaty rights over them. Venice, having 
lost with Dalmatia her chief naval base, turned her 
attention towards Albania and the adjoining Slavonic 
countries. She had at one time occupied Durazzo 
( 1 205-1 208), and through her colonies in Dalmatia had 
come into contact with the Albanians. Now that her 
influence in the former country was destroyed, and that 
she had lost a large part of her mainland possessions, 
the population devoted itself to "the bee-like task of 
accumulating wealth and extending its commerce." ^ 
Relations were once more established with Albania, trade 
with that country was encouraged, and the foundations 
were laid for the revival of Venetian influence in the 

The conditions of the Slavonic states behind Dalmatia 

^ Horatio Brown's l^emce, p. 212. * Geldch, La Zedda^ Pre&ce. 




were at this time extremely disturbed. During the 
brilliant reign of Stephen DuSan, the Servian people were 
at the height of their greatness and power. Macedonia, 
Albania, and other parts of the Greek Empire, and a 
part of Bosnia, as well as Servia proper, acknowledged 
the rule of the Servian Tsar, and even Bulgaria paid him 
tribute. The great position of Servia under this ruler 
is not usually appreciated by historians of the Eastern 
Empire. DuSan, as Professor Bury observes,^ was not 
only a great warrior, but a great legislator, and drew 
up the Zakonik or code of laws, comparable with that 
of Jaroslav for Russia. Had he lived a few years longer, 
and been able to crush the turbulence of his feudal 
vassals and consolidate his possessions, Kossovo might 
never have taken place, and the Balkans never have been 
• subjected to the horrors of the Turkish conquest. But 
on his death in 1355 the whole fabric of his Empire split 
up into a number of separate principalities. He was 
succeeded by his son, Uro§ IV. (i 355-1 367), who was 
not strong enough to carry on his father's work, and 
the Magnates and governors soon began to show signs 
of insubordination. Not only had he to deal with in- 
ternal discontent, but he was also attacked by foreign 
neighbours. In 1358 Louis of Hungary made war upon 
him with such success that he conquered the erstwhile 
Hungarian district of Madva,* south of the Save, and 
placed Nicholas of Gara to rule over it.* 

The most powerful Servian Magnates were the brothers 

1 Note to Gibbon's Decline and Fall^ vol. vi. p. 50a 
* The " Machova " of the Ragusan documents. 
' Klaid, p. 197. 


VukaSin and UljeSa MrnjavCid, Knez^ Lazar Grebljanovid, 
who was afterwards to achieve immortal fame on the field 
of Kossovo, Vuk Brankovi<5, the brothers BalSa, and Knez 
Vojslav Voinovi<5. This last and the BalSas obtained 
their independence during the lifetime of Uros. In 1367 
the last of the Nemanjas died, murdered, it is said, by 
Vuka§in*s followers while out hunting. VukaSin him- 
self, who had been greatly favoured by Du§an and 
appointed, by the terms of the Tsar's will, chief State 
Councillor to Uro§, succeeded to the throne. But this 
only hastened the disruption of the Empire, for Knez 
Lazar, Vuk Brankovi<5, and Nicholas Altomanovic (the 
Governor of the Danubian provinces) rose against him, 
and not only proclaimed their own independence, but 
occupied part of his immediate possessions.* 

Of the various states into which the Servian Empire 
split up the first to be formed was the Zedda, ruled 
by the Balsa family. These were, according to some 
authorities, of French origin, and according to others 
were descended from the Nemanjas.' A Bal§a had served 
in DuSan's armies, and was afterwards made governor 
of the Zedda. In a privilege of 1360, in which Stephen 
Uro§ IV. grants trading rights in his states to the 
Ragusans, the " Zedda of BalSa " is mentioned, showing 
that the province was still under Servian suzerainty. 
It consisted of the region round the lake of Scutari, 

^ Knez means lord or count. 

* The decadence of Servia can be traced in the titles of its rulers. 
Uro§ IV. was the last Tsar, VukaSin was only Krai or king, and his son 
was Marko Kraljevid, " the King's son." 

' Du Cange, Farlati, Lenormant, and Rovinski take the first view, 
Gelcich {La Zedda^ p. 28) and Safaiik the second. 


i.e. of part of Montenegro and Northern Albania; it 
is, in fact, another name for the ancient Doclea.^ It was 
always regarded with especial affection by the Nemanjas 
as their original home, and in 1195 they made it into 
a Grand County. The first BalSa died in 1361, leaving 
three sons, Stra^imir, George, and BalSa II., and a 
daughter. The sons reigned jointly, the eldest being 
merely " primus inter pares." * They at once began to 
aspire to become independent of Servian authority and to 
expand their own territories. Their first move was an 
alliance with Ragusa, who made them honorary citizens 
of the Republic. Between 1362 and 1370 they conquered 
Scutari and threw off all allegiance to DuSan's successor. 

South of the Zedda lies Albania proper. Formerly 
a province of the Eastern Empire, it had first been con- 
quered by Charles of Anjou (1266), then by Stephen 
Uro§ II. Milutin, and then again by Philip of Taranto 
for the Angevins. Finally, after many vicissitudes, it 
came under the rule of the native prince Charles Topia, 
who, after he had captured Durazzo from the Neapolitans 
in 1364, made himself master of the whole of Middle 
Albania and independent of Servia. In Southern Albania 
and Macedonia other vassal nobles, such as the Gropa 
of Ochrida, Radoslav Hlapa in the Verria district, and 
Alexander at Avlona, rose to power. 

In the immediate hinterland of Ragusa was the land 
of Hlum, ruled by Knez Vojslav Voinovid, who owed 
allegiance both to the Servian Tsar and to the Banus 
of Bosnia. He too after DuSan's death made himself 

^ It is sometimes called Zenta or Zeta. 

' This form of succession was a very usual one in the Serb lands. 


independent of his successor, and with Hungarian help 
also of the Banus. His territory extended from the 
Servian Morava by Senice and Gacko to Cattaro and 
Ragusa, and included the coast between those two towns. 
He was the bitterest enemy of the Ragusans, and never 
ceased from molesting them. He is described in their 
chronicles and documents as a "homo perfidus," who 
" tamquam infidelis male servat fidem." ^ On his death 
in 1363 he was succeeded by his nephew Nicholas 
Altomanovi<5, who fixed his headquarters at the im- 
portant commercial town of Rudnik. 

Stephen Tvrtko, Banus of Bosnia, profited by the 
break-up of Servia to consolidate his own possessions. 
He had come to the throne in 1353, and sided with 
Hungary in the war against Venice and the Serbs. Ap- 
parently some of his Magnates were inclined to rebellion 
and encouraged in their disloyalty by the Tsar DuSan, 
who thus hoped to annex the whole Banate ; in this he 
might have succeeded had he not been cut off by death 
while on the march to Constantinople (Dec. 20, 1355). 
But as soon as the power of Servia was broken, Louis 
of Hungary changed his policy towards Bosnia, and 
obliged Tvrtko to agree to very onerous conditions. 
His possession of the Banate was recognised, but he had 
to give up his rights over Hlum to Elizabeth, Louis's 
wife.* At the same time he was reduced to the position 
of a vassal of Hungary, and various feudal lords on the 
frontier were encouraged to shake off their allegiance to 
him. A general rising of the Bosnian barons ensued, 

' Gelcich, La Zedda, p. 13 ; Jire^ek, Handelssirasseftf p. 36 sqq. 
' These were allowed to lapse in favour of Vojslav Voinovid . 


and the sect of the Bogomils, taking advantage of this 
state of anarchy, became so influential that Pope Innocent 
VI. proclaimed a crusade against them early in 1360. 
This was more than Louis had bargained for, and he 
sent an army into Bosnia (June 1360) which put down 
the revolt and restored Tvrtko's authority. Another 
rebellion broke out in 1365, and Tvrtko was driven 
from the country and forced to apply once more for 
Hungarian help ; a small contingent was granted to him, 
and after severe fighting he managed to regain the throne 
in 1366; his brother Vuk, a Bogomil, who had been 
among the rebels, fled to Ragusa. Shortly after Tvrtko 
visited that city in full state, accompanied by a train 
of nobles, confirmed all the privileges granted to it by 
his uncle Stephen, and contracted a treaty of perpetual 
alliance with the Republic, " save for what shall do injury 
to the honour of the King of Hungary." ^ But he failed 
to achieve the main object of his visit, viz. the sur- 
render of Vuk. The Ragusans refused to give him up, 
and on becoming a Catholic he enlisted the sympathy of 
the Pope (Urban V.) for his claims to the Bosnian throne. 
But Louis of Hungary would not support him, having 
turned his attention to Poland, of which country he 
hoped to become king. Tvrtko was thus able to enjoy 
a period of peace, and to consolidate his somewhat dis- 
turbed Banate. 

The Republic of Cattaro continued to remain in a 
state of semi-independence. It was usually on good 
terms with Venice, and the town contained a flourishing 
commercial colony of Venetians. Ensconced in the deep 

^ Miklosich, Monumenta Serbica^ p. 176. 



and well-sheltered inlet known as the Bocche di Cattaro, 
its trade was active and its mercantile fleet large. Its 
relations with Ragusa were characterised by mutual 
jealousy, owing partly to commercial rivalry (especially 
on account of the disputed salt monopoly), and partly 
to the intrigues of Venice, who wished to prevent all 
possible coalitions of the Dalmatian townships against 
her own supremacy.^ 

A new Power now makes its appearance as a factor 
in the history of Europe, the Ottoman Turks, who 
were destined in the space of two centuries to conquer 
the whole of the Balkan peninsula, a large part of 
Dalmatia, and nearly the whole of Hungary, humbling 
that kingdom to the dust. The Serbs and other South 
Slavonic peoples by their civil wars and mutual jealousies 
prepared the way for their greatest enemy and that of all 
Christendom. In these events the part played by Ragusa 
was a curious one. At one moment the Republic actually 
tried to arbitrate in the quarrels of the Servian princes 
and to induce them to unite against the invader. But \ 
from the point of view of general European history its \ 
chief interest lies in the action of its Government in ob- 
taining information as to the movements of the Turkish 
armies. The Ragusans were subsequently on good terms 
with the Turks, and permitted to visit all parts of the 
Empire, even when other Europeans were excluded. 
Ragusan merchants and agents sent home despatches 
which are preserved in the city records, and in them we 
can follow the Turkish conquest step by step, as city 

^ Gelcich, La Zedda^ p. 14 ; also his Memoire storiche sulle Bocche di 


after city, province after province, was first raided, 
then rendered tributary, and finally absorbed into the 
Sultan's dominions. This is not the place to tell the 
story of the conquest, but it will be well to remind 
the reader of a few of its more important events and 

The first Turkish invasion of Europe occurred in 
1 34 1, when Oman crossed the Bosporos to intervene 
in the civil wars of the Eastern Empire. Several minor 
raids followed, while the Emir Orchan (i 326-1 360), 
who may be regarded as the founder of the Ottoman 
power, established his capital at Brusa. In 1358 his son 
Suleiman again invaded Europe, and the Chersonnese 
was soon filled with colonies of Ottomans.^ In 1359 
Gallipoli, "the key of Europe,** was occupied and 
rebuilt as a Turkish town. In 1360 both Orchan and 
his son Suleiman died, and his second son Murad suc- 
ceeded to the throne. The latter in the following year 
captured Adrianople, which henceforward was to be the 
seat of the Turkish Government, and the headquarters 
for the attacks on the Greek Empire, the Serbs, and the 
Bulgarians. In 1370 a Turkish army of 70,000 men 
under Murad spread into Macedonia, but was driven 
back by the Serbs under King VukaSin and his brother 
UljeSa. He advanced again the following year, and 
encountered the Serbs at Cernomen,^ on the right bank 
of the Marica, a day's march from Adrianople. The 
Serbs won in the first instance, but during the night the 
Turks rallied, and inflicted a terrible defeat on them. 

^ Gibbon's Decline and Fall^ Bur/s edition, vol. vii. pp. 29-31. 
' The ancient Tainaros, now called Cinnen. 


VukaSin and his brother fell with the flower of the 
Servian chivalry.^ The Turks now overran Macedonia 
and Servia, and forced Marko Kraljevic, VukaSin*s eldest 
son, and other Slave princes to pay tribute to them. 
The vassals who had hitherto obeyed VukaSin now 
rebelled against his son, and the Servian Empire was "' 
definitely broken up, while the Turks became ever more 

The exchange of Hungarian supremacy in the place i 
of that of Venice brought about less change in the 
internal situation of Ragusa than might have been 
expected, but the dignity of the Republic was enhanced 
by the further extension of its autonomy, for it now 
becomes to all intents and purposes an independent 
State. When the last Venetian Count departed a com- 
mission of three Rectors, elected by the citizens, was 
appointed to carry on the aflFairs of the Government, and 
they were to be changed every two months. But a few 
months later the number was reduced to one,* and his 
tenure of ofiice limited to one month. Formerly, in the 
periods during which Ragusa had been independent, the 
ruler of the State had held ofiice for six months, and 
had enjoyed considerable authority. But the example of 
Damiano Juda had made the citizens chary of entrusting 
their destinies to a too powerful magistrate, and they 
now curtailed his initiative till he became a mere figure- 
head. His chief duties were the safe-keeping of the 
keys of the castles and of the State seals, the summoning 

* Klaid, p. 199 ; Gelcich, La Zedda^ p. 8a 

' After the year 1358 the Reformationes allude to the Rector^ and no 
longer to the Rectores. 

I I 


of the Grand Council, the Senate, and the Minor Council, 
and the proposal of the aflairs to be discussed in these as- 
semblies, in which, however, he himself had only one vote. 
During his brief tenure of office he might never leave his 
official residence save in full state, i.e. accompanied by 
twenty-four retainers attired in scarlet, two musicians, 
and all the chief secretaries and palace functionaries. 
His own robe was like that of a Venetian senator. 
Under these circumstances we can hardly imagine him 
taking much pleasure in a quiet walk for a breath of 
fresh air. If he was ill or excluded from the Council 
"in his own interest or in that of his relations,"^ his 
place was taken by the senior member of the Minor 
Council. If he died while in office he was borne to the 
grave on the shoulders of the nobles, the bell of the 
Palace tolled, and the city gates were closed. In 1441 
Ladislas, King of Hungary, conferred upon the chief 
magistrate of Ragusa the title of Arch-Rector, which was 
confirmed by King Matthew Corvinus in 1463, but the 
Senate refused to allow him to use it, lest it should 
inspire him with dangerous ambitions! He was, how- 
ever, permitted to accept the knighthood of the Golden 
Spur with which he had been invested by the same 
monarch. No other important changes were made in 
the constitution from this date until the fall of the 

Ragusa*s international position, however, was now 
considerably altered. The King of Hungary allowed 
the citizens the most absolute liberty to manage their 

^ Lf, when his own acts or the election of one of his relatives was 
under discussion. 


own affairs, and not only had he no Hungarian repre- 
sentative in the town, but he did not even attempt to 
interfere indirectly with the Government. Ragusa was 
merely bound to pay him a tribute and to provide a 
naval contingent in time of war on the terms set forth 
in the treaty of ViSegrad. She always remained the faith- 
ful friend and ally of Hungary, and was quite content 
to render this not very onerous allegiance ; in her re- 
lations with that Power there was no trace of the constant 
recriminations and bickerings that there were with Venice. 
The reason of this difference of feeling towards the two 
Powers lies in the character of Venetian as compared . 
with Hungarian policy. Venice was ever extending her 
influence down the Adriatic coast, consolidating her 
dominion, and destroying local autonomies. Above all, 
Venice was a great maritime Power and could swoop 
down on Ragusa or any other Adriatic town with her 
swift galleys at any moment; commercial rivalry, too, 
had its effect, for Venice aspired to the monopoly of the 
same trades as those in which Ragusa dealt. Hungary, ' 
on the other hand, was purely a military State. Its aims 
were internal consolidation and the security of its own im- 
mediate frontiers. It did not aspire to distant dominions, 
as it had no powerful navy, and it merely desired to 
possess Dalmatia so as to secure a wider outlet to the 
sea than the Croatian coast; and it had no sea-borne 
trade to interfere with that of Ragusa. On the land 
side it wished to secure the allegiance of the Bosnian 
Banus, but there was little danger of its establishing an 
absolute sway over the Slave lands immediately behind - 


The Ragusans now set to work to consolidate their 
independence and develop their trade, but they were not 
destined to enjoy a long period of absolute peace. Their 
first quarrel was with Vojslav Voinovid, Count of Hlum 
("Comes Chelmi Magnus Procer Imperatoris Sclavoniae").^ 
Early in 1359 the Republic sent an envoy to him, offer- 
ing to pay a sum of 4000 ipperperi as tribute due to the 
Emperor of Slavonia; but shortly after he raided the 
Ragusan districts of Astarea and Gionchetto, burned the 
houses and churches, cut down the vineyards, took a 
number of prisoners, and arrested the Ragusan traders 
in his territories. Vojslav was known to be meditating 
an expedition against Stagno and even Ragusa, so that 
defensive measures were taken. All the city gates ex- 
cept two were walled up, a special guard of night watch- 
men was formed, troops and sailors levied throughout 
the Republic*s dominions, and a band of mercenaries was 
raised at Curzola with the permission of the Venetian 
Count for the defence of Stagno. A master-mechanic 
was sent for from Messina to superintend the war engines, 
and a master-crossbowman from Italy. In the mean- 
while the Senate sent envoys to the King of Hungary 
and to his lieutenant the Banus of Croatia and Dalmatia, 
complaining of Vojslav*s conduct, and asking for assist- 
ance against him.' He was described as being *^ like a 
wolf who wishes to devour us lambs,**' and a price of 
10,000 ipperperi was put on his head the following year.* 

* Ref,^ ii., January 1359. 

* Diphm. Ragus.^ 1359, 4i 5> 8; 1360, 12 ; 1361, 20. 
» Ref.j 1360, Feb. 

* Ref, Cons. Maj,^ 1361, July i. 


Ragusa also tried to resort to another measure against 
Vojslav. The latter*s territory reached as far as the 
neighbourhood of Cattaro, which town served him as a 
port. Ragusa now proposed an alliance with the dt- 
tarini, and suggested that they should break ofF all 
relations with the lord of Hlum and cease to provide 
him with provisions and salt. But Cattaro was unable 
to accede to this plan from fear of Vojslav*s power. 
Ragusa then determined to punish that town, and made 
an alliance to this end with the Balsas, lords of Zedda. 
Negotiations were opened with the Servian Tsar Uro§ 
and with his most powerful vassals, and envoys were 
sent to the King of Bosnia and to Sanko to arrange a 
plan of campaign against Hlum. Operations began by 
sea, and on July 6, 1631, Ragusa itself appears to have 
been attacked by Vojslav*s ships.^ The Republic con- 
fiscated the money which that prince had deposited in 
the town,* and a naval expedition was fitted out to 
operate against Cattaro and raid the Bocche. Raids 
were also made into Vojslav*s territories on the land side, 
and doubtless the Ragusans were able to pay their enemy 
back in his own coin. The quarrel with Cattaro and 
Vojslav lasted nearly two years, and only ended through 
Venetian and Servian mediation. 

According to some authorities' Vojslav died in 1363, 
and was succeeded by his cousin Nicholas Altomanovid ; 
according to others * in 1 37 1 . The latter date is probably 

» Ref,^ 1361, July. 

' The Slaves used Ragusa as their banking centre. 

» Jire^ek, p. 36. 

^ .Gelcich, Bcdioy genealog. table. 


the correct one, the confusion having arisen from the 
fact that Nicholas came to reign jointly with his brother 
in 1363 or 1364, and after that date we find them both 
mentioned in the Ragusan documents. This system of 
dual or plural sovereignty, prevalent in Servian lands, 
\ caused much trouble, and also weakened the resistance 
; against the Turkish invaders, as the rival princes were 
always quarrelling among themselves and intriguing with 
outside foes against each other. At this time a coalition 
of a number of Servian princelings and nobles against 
others was formed, and produced the most fatal conse- 
quences by breaking up the organisation of the country. 
During this war the Bal§as, in order to consolidate their 
power, began to make political and commercial alliances 
with their neighbours. For this purpose they applied to 
Ragusa, requesting the honour of Ragusan citizenship for 
themselves. The Senate was well pleased to accede to 
this desire, as the Republic was feeling by no means safe 
from Vojslav, and Hungarian help delayed in coming, 
A treaty of offensive and defensive alliance was con- 
cluded, by which it was agreed that the BalSas should 
attack dttaro, Vojslav's ally, by land and the Ragusans 
by sea. The Ragusan envoy, Clemente Dersa, informed 
the Balsas that Vojslav was meditating a coup de main on 
Budua, and that this would be a serious menace to their 
territory. Budua is a small town on the Adriatic, just 
south of the entrance to the Bocche di Gittaro. It is 
of ancient origin, and has one of the earliest municipal 
statutes in existence.^ It was under the direct protection 
of the Servian Tsars, who were represented by a castellano^ 

^ Monutnenta Histor.-Jurid, Slav. Mer.^ i., Agram, 1882. 


and independent of the vassal feudatories. Ragusa had 
had a quarrel with the town in 1359 owing to the alleged 
acts of piracy committed by its inhabitants, but afterwards 
peace was made when Budua became in a manner subject 
to the BalSas and helped them in their revolt against 
Servia. During the hostilities the dttarini besieged 
Budua and nearly captured it, taking a number of 
prisoners in the sorties, until a Ragusan flotilla came 
to the rescue and drove them back.^ In April 1362 
Ragusan ships blockaded Cattaro by sea, while the 
Balsas attacked it by land.* During these hostilities the 
Ragusans captured the property of some Venetian mer- 
chants as contraband of war, and this caused further 
unpleasantness with Venice. Cattaro then requested Vene- 
tian mediation, and in January 1362 Paolo Quirini and 
a Hungarian representative were sent to Dalmatia to 
arbitrate, but without success. At last, in August, the 
Servian Tsar intervened, and on August 22 peace was 
signed at Onogost.* All parties regained their former 
privileges, prisoners were liberated, and compensation 
paid for injuries. The chief result for Ragusa was the 
introduction of the plague from the lands beyond the 
mountains.* The BalSas, however, were able to extend 
their territory along the coast as far as Dulcigno, and in 
1367 the dignity of warden of Budua passed to George 
BalSa, and he and his brothers thenceforward styled 
themselves " magnificent barons of Maritime Slavonia." 

* Mon, Rag,^ iii. 

' Ref,^ ii. pp. 276-280 ; Lett e Comm, di Lev, 1350-80, Aug. 31, 1359; 
Gclcich, Balia^ pp. 33-37 ; Ref,^ iii. 9i> 9^, 99 ; iv. 24, 117, 133-4, I39, I40- 
' Now Mi^si^, in Montenegro. See Miklosich, Mon, Serb,^ p. 169. 

* Gclcich, Batia^ p. 38. 




• » 


They were now able to negotiate with Venice, and 
became an important Power in the Adriatic. This 
ultimately proved advantageous for the Ragusans, to 
whom they granted many privileges and opened the 
trade routes up the rivers of Northern Albania. They 
also obtained for the Republic from the Servian Tsar the 
full possession of the island of Meleda.^ 

But the peace failed to prevent the molestations of 
the lawless Count of Hlum, Nicholas Altomanovid In 
April 1 37 1 * the Ragusans wrote to the King of Hungary 
complaining of his raids, and describing him as "the 
worst of all the Rascian barons, although they are all 
false and infamous." Not content with the gifts they 
had made to him, he had demanded the tribute due to 
the Servian Tsar, and on their refusal he invaded their 
territory and tortured the prisoners he made by pouring 
boiling lard over them. The Ragusans added that the 
Banus of Ma^va, who was the King of Hungary*s vassal, 
had done nothing to restrain Altomanovid, but was 
secretly his friend. The whole of the interior being in 
a state of anarchy, inland trade was almost at a stand- 
still, and the Republic requested the King to intercede 
with the Pope for the renewal of the licence to send two 
ships every year to the lands of the Infidel. 

The Ragusan forces, however, managed on several 
occasions to defeat the bands of Altomanovid, and later 
in the year the Republic joined the alliance of Knez 
Lazar and Tvrtko, Banus of Bosnia, against that prince. 
The latter now had won the Bal§as to his side by the 
gift of Canali, Trebinje, and Dra&vica, but the coalition 

* Gelcich, BoHa^ p. 53. ' Diplom, Rag,^ 42. 


succeeded in conquering a large part of his possessions. 
Knez Lazar occupied Rudnik, and Tvrtko the upper 
valley of the Drina, and drove George BalSa from Tre- 
binje. The King of Bosnia's possessions were thus ex- 
tended by 1376 over the greater part of the Servian 
lands as far as Trebinje, Cattaro, and NikSid in the 
south, to Senice in the east, and included the important 
monastery of MileSevo, where St. Sava, the Apostle of 
the Serbs, was buried.^ He was now the most powerful 
ruler in this part of the Balkans, and had himself crowned 
at MileSevo with two crowns, styling himself "Stephen 
Tvrtko in the name of Our Lord Christ King of Servia 
and Bosnia and the Primorije (coast land).**^ Ragusa 
was the first State to recognise him, and proved quite 
willing to pay the 2000 ipperperi a year due to him as 
lord of Servia. 

The Ragusan Senate had the foresight to understand 
the growing importance of the Ottoman Turks, and 
having obtained from Urban V. an exemption to trade 
with the Infidel, it contracted commercial agreements 
with the Sultans of Egypt, Syria, and Konia in 1359, 
and in 1365 obtained from the Sultan Murad a firman 
granting the citizens of Ragusa freedom to trade in all 
parts of the Ottoman dominions and protection for their 
commercial factories, in exchange for a yearly tribute 
of 500 ducats. Ragusa was thus the first Christian 
State to make a treaty with the Ottoman Turks, and its 
citizens were enabled to penetrate into the remotest parts 
of the Turkish Empire and form permanent settlements 
there at a time when other Christians were either excluded 




^ Klaid, p. 200 ; Jire^ek, pp. 36-37. 

' Klaid, p. 200. 


altogether or limited to a few coast towns. The tribute 
which they paid for these advantages, although often raised 

^ subsequently, proved a most profitable investment. 

In 1378, in consequence oFtlie Tritflgttcs""^ Venice 
and Genoa to obtain a predominant position at Constan- 
tinople, war broke out between the two Republics — the 
famous Chioggia war — in which Ragusa too was involved. 
The Genoese induced Francesco Carrara, lord of Padua, 
who had been humbled but not subdued by Venice, to 
join them, and further help was obtained from Louis 
of Hungary. Ragusa, as vassal of that potentate, joined 
the coalition. But Venice, undismayed, made all pre- 
parations for war, and invested Vettor Pisani with the 
supreme command at sea. A Venetian victory off Cape 
Antium was won on May 30, and Pisani took Sebenico 
and Cattaro by storm; these and other towns on the 
Adriatic coast which his garrisons occupied were harried 
and blockaded by Ragusan vessels, who also seized this 

^ opportunity to destroy the salt-pans of Cattaro, thus 
ridding the Republic of a dangerous competitor.^ The 
Ragusans were in great fear of an attack by the Venetian 
fleet, and made desperate efforts to strengthen the de- 
fences of the town and of Stagno. They also asked for 
assistance from Tvrtko, King of Bosnia, who oflTered 
them a contingent ; but on hearing that he was treating 
with the Venetians, possibly with a view to a move 
against Ragusa, they refused it. On October 14, 1378, 
the Genoese fleet under Fieschi put in at Ragusa,' where 
a Ragusan galley joined it, and the admiral received two 
bombards and a present of money from the Republic. 

* Gelcich, Ragusa^ p. 44- * R^f-^ iv., Oct 14, 1378. 


Armed barques issued forth from the town to scour the 
Adriatic and obtain news of the movements of the Vene- 
tian fleet, which were at once transmitted to the Banus 
of Dalmatia and Croatia at Zara, while privateers cruised 
about to plunder the enemy's merchantmen. Ragusan 
ships were, in fact, the eyes of the allied fleet. 

The Senate sent a squadron out under Stefano Sorgo 
to capture all Venetian or Cattarine ships found in South 
Dalmatian waters,^ while envoys went to Cattaro to stir 
up the people to rebel against Venice and return to 
Hungarian allegiance. But the Cattarini, still fearing 
the Venetians, at first refused. Then a joint Genoese 
and Ragusan fleet made a demonstration against the 
town, and the authorities promised to raise the Hun- 
garian standard on a certain date. But they failed to 
do so, and intrigued instead with the King of Bosnia 
against Ragusa, plundered Ragusan grain ships, and cap- 
tured the sentinels guarding the approaches to the city 
on the Monte Sergio. After the total defeat of the 
Venetian fleet ofi^ Pola in May the Ragusans pursued 
their operations against Cattaro by land and sea with 
renewed vigour, and by June 26 the town had once more 
returned to Hungarian allegiance.* 

Meanwhile the Genoese had carried the war almost 
to the very gates of Venice, and were besieging Chioggia. 
A Ragusan contingent under Matteo Giorgi was of great 
assistance to them in the siege, owing to Giorgi's knowledge 
of the use of artillery,' and, according to Razzi, he would 
have prevented the blockade of the Genoese fleet, which 

* Dipiom, Rag,^ March 13, 1379, No. 62. 
' Re/,^ 1379, June 20 and June 26. > Engel, § 32. 


was executed, by closing the harbour with sunken boats, 
if only his advice had been followed.* On the defeat of 
the Genoese the Ragusan galleys managed to escape, and 
saved a number of the fugitives whose vessels had been 
sunk (June 24, 1380). Desultory fighting continued for 
a few months longer, in which the Ragusan galleys took 
part, and in 1381 peace was signed at Turin. Although 
in the end the Genoese had been defeated, Venice 
was by no means victorious, and had to confirm her 
renunciation of Dalmatia, much to the satisfaction of 

But it seemed as though the little Republic of St. 
Blaize were destined never to be at peace with her neigh- 
bours for long. Hardly was the Chioggia war over when 
a storm-cloud appeared on the side of Bosnia. Now 
that the Bosnian king had humbled his neighbours and 
become the most powerful sovereign of the Southern 
Slaves he began to assume an unfriendly attitude towards 
Ragusa. His kingdom possessed a stretch of coast from 
the Bocche di Cattaro to the mouth of the Cetina, but 
the two best ports of that region — Ragusa and Cattaro 
— ^were independent Republics owing allegiance to the 
King of Hungary, who was by no means likely to be 
always friendly to a powerful and independent Bosnia. 
If Tvrtko wished to establish a really strong Servian state 
he would have to occupy those towns. While still 
Banus he had granted the freedom of his territories to 
the Ragusans in a charter dated from Bobovac, February 
5> ^375-* On April 10, 1379, he came to ^^rnovica, 
very near Ragusa, accompanied by his magnates. The 

^ Razzi, lib. i. cap. xxi. ' Miklosich, Mon, Serb.^ 184-5. 


Republic sent out a commission of nobles to greet him, 
and a new and advantageous commercial treaty was 
concluded, Ragusa agreeing to pay Tvrtko and his 
successors 500 ipperperi a year for freedom to trade in 
Bosnia, and 2000 a year as lord of the Servian lands.^ 
But this friendship did not last long, for on July 26, 
1379, we find the Republic complaining to Louis of 
Hungary that the people of Cattaro having oflFered their 
city to the King of Bosnia, the latter refused to allow 
foodstuffs to be imported into Ragusa. Louis defended 
his faithful vassals, and Tvrtko was forced to desist from 
his annoyances. When, in 1382, Louis died, he left a 
widow, Elizabeth, who was Tvrtko's cousin, and two 
daughters, Mary and Hedwig. He had declared Mary 
his successor, and betrothed her to Prince Sigismund, son 
of the Emperor Charles IV., King of Bohemia ; but on 
his death the Poles, who were united to the Hungarians 
under the same dynasty, refused to be ruled by Mary, 
and elected her younger sister Hedwig as their queen 
instead, and even in Hungary and Croatia a considerable 
party was opposed to Elizabeth and Mary. Civil war 
broke out and devastated Hungary, Croatia, Dalmatia, 
and Slavonia for the next twenty-five years. Of these 
disturbances Tvrtko determined to take advantage, now 
favouring Elizabeth and Mary, now Charles of Durazzo, 
who as an Angevin claimed the throne of Hungary also, 
and his son Ladislas, always with an eye to his own 
profit.* His first thought was for Ragusa. He knew 
that he could not capture the town without a large fleet, 
for Ragusan shipping had revived since 1358, and was 

^ Miklosich, Afon, Serb,^ i88. ' Klaid, p. 206. 


now very formidable. But he also knew that its inhabit* 
ants lived entirely by trade, and he determined to injure 
them by establishing a rival trading centre at the entrance 
of the Bocche, making it the chief port and the com- 
mercial capital of Bosnia. He called it Sveti Stjepan 
(San Stefano), but the name was soon changed to Novi, 
and then to Erzegnovi (Castelnuovo). In violation of his 
treaties with Ragusa he opened salt-pans at Gistelnuovo, 
which soon became an important trading station not only 
for the neighbourhood, but for the whole of Dalmatia 
and Croatia. The Ragusans complained bitterly, and as 
they obtained Hungarian support, Tvrtko deemed it 
prudent to give way for the moment, and he promised to 
close the salt market.^ But again in 1383 he re-opened 
it, and the Republic sent Pietro Gondola and Stefano 
Luccari to Budapest to complain of this breach of the 
treaty to Queen Mary. The latter at once issued a 
decree forbidding the inhabitants of Dalmatia and Croatia 
to trade at Novi.* 

Tvrtko, not feeling yet strong enough to attack 
Ragusa openly, allied himself with the Venetians. The 
latter sold him a large galley fully armed and equipped, 
and allowed him to have two others built in Venice, sent 
Nicco]6 Baseio to him as admiral, and made him honorary 
citizen of the Republic.^ These movements disturbed 
not only Ragusa, but also the two Hungarian queens, 
who feared that Tvrtko might avail himself of the dis- 
content in Croatia and Dalmatia to raise further trouble. 

^ Charter dated December 2, 1382, in Miklosich, 201-202. 

' Kvkuljev'ic-Sakcinskiy /ura /^e^t Croa/tfiy u 1 50-1 51 ; Klaid, 209. 

' Mon, Slav.f iv. 187-8, 194-5, 200-203. 


They therefore sent Nicholas of Gara to his court at 
Sutieska to try to come to some arrangement. Finally 
Tvrtko was induced to agree not to disturb Ragusa nor 
the Hungarian dominions, for which promise he was 
rewarded with the town of Cattaro.* This occupation 
brought him into conflict with the BalSas of Zedda, but 
after some fighting peace was restored through Venetian 
mediation. On April 9, 1387, Tvrtko concluded a 
treaty with Ragusa, in which he promised to protect the 
city from all enemies, and the Ragusans granted him the 
right of asylum should he ever be in need of it. It was 
added that if he should come to the town for any reason, 
and Queen Mary, who was then a prisoner in the hands 
of the rebels, should escape, he should be warned in good 
time and allowed to leave. 

By the following year the King of Bosnians power 
in Croatia and Dalmatia had greatly increased, and he 
became possessed of such important castles as Clissa, 
Vrana, Ostrovica, and probably Knin, the key of Croatia.* 
He now tried to get hold of the Dalmatian coast towns, 
as the whole country was in a turmoil of war and revolu- 
tion, Ragusa alone remaining quiet and loyal to Queen 
Mary and her husband Sigismund. Various Dalmatian 
towns promised to pay allegiance to Tvrtko, including 
Spalato, which was to raise the Bosnian standard on June 
15, 1389. But on that very date the death-knell of the 
Southern Slaves sounded on the fatal " Field of Crows." ^ 

While Tvrtko was thus consolidating his kingdom 
at the expense of his neighbours, while Hungary was a 

1 July 20, 1385, Klaid, 211. » Klaid, 226, 

* Kossovo or Kosovo Polje. 


prey to civil war, while the various princelings of Servia 
were eternally fighting among themselves, the Turks 
were ever marching onward. As early as 1375 Marko 
Kraljevid, the hero of Servian popular poetry, had 
initiated the disastrous policy of calling in Turkish 
assistance in a quarrel against another Christian prince. 
Wishing to reconquer Kastoria and other towns in 
Southern Macedonia and Albania held by the Musacchi 
family and their ally George I. BalSa, he obtained a 
Turkish contingent for the enterprise, but was de- 
feated by Bal§a. In 1376 Tvrtko had allied himself 
with Knez Lazar, who ruled over the Danubian provinces 
of Servia (the last remnant of the Servian Empire) 
against Nicholas Altomanovid, and continued to remain 
on good terms with him after Nicholas's death. He 
regarded Knez Lazar's principality as a buffer State 
between his own dominions and those of the Turks. 
After the fall of Ni§ in 1375, and of Sofia in 1382, he 
gave Lazar assistance, and in 1387 he sent him a con- 
tingent which enabled him to cut to pieces a Turkish 
army of 20,000 men at Plodnik on the Toplica (Old 
Servia). But the Sultan Murad I. determined to 
avenge the defeat, and prepared an expedition against 
Lazar. The latter, seeing himself in great danger, ap- 
pealed for help from all his neighbours, but the King of 
Bosnia alone sent him a force, commanded by Vlatko 
Hranid. The Servian-Bosnian army, under the leader- 
ship of Knez Lazar, with Marko Kraljevi<5 as chief 
lieutenant, had its headquarters at PriStina, in the plain 
of Kossovo— a long plateau surrounded by mountains 
extending from Verisovid to Mitrovica. The Turkish 


army was commanded by the Sultan Murad in person ; 
the right wing was led by his son Bayazet, and the left 
by his son Yakub. The fight began early on Wednes- 
day, June 15, 1389, and raged all day. For a long time 
the fortunes of the battle seemed doubtful, and both 
sides fought with heroic courage. But at last Bayazet 
succeeded by a sudden attack in throwing the Servian 
left wing into confusion. At the same time Vuk 
Brankovic, whose name has been handed down to the 
execration of the whole Servian race as a traitor, aban- 
doned the field of battle with all his division. Then 
Vlatko Hranid and the Bosnian contingent began to 
give way, and the main body of the Serbs was driven 
slowly back. Knez Lazar, after fighting like a lion, was 
killed in the milie ; Murad was mortally wounded in his 
own tent by the Servian chief Milo§ Obili6, who pre- 
tended to be a traitor and to have information to give 
him. He was himself cut down instantly, and then 
Lazarus head was brought in by attendants to cheer the 
dying Sultan, who expired soon after. 

The Turks did not follow up their victory, and from 
the first news of the fight which he received Tvrtko 
thought that the Christians had triumphed, and sent 
messages to that effect to the foreign Powers. In the 
churches of Florence TV Deums of victory were sung, 
and the Republic congratulated the Bosnian king. / 
Even when the true result was known no one realised ' 
at the time what a crushing blow had fallen on the 
Slavonic peoples of the Balkans. The native princes ' 
continued to fight among themselves regardless of their 
impending doom, and Tvrtko, who was the most power- 


ful of them, thought more of occupying Dalmatia and 
Croatia than of strengthening his southern frontier. 
His enterprises were fairly prosperous ; he succeeded in 
conquering the whole country from the Velebit moun- 
tains to Cattaro, Zara and Ragusa alone remaining true 
to Sigismund, while the three islands of Brazza, Curzola, 
and Lesina recognised the suzerainty of the Bosnian 
king (1390). He died in 1391, leaving Bosnia in such 
a position as she had never enjoyed before. But her 
power was not based on a solid foundation, and therefore 
short-lived. His brother, Stephen DabiSa, who succeeded 
him, soon lost the greater part of Dalmatia and Croatia. 

George II. Straiimirov BalSa, who now styled himself 
" absolute lord of all the Zedda and of the coast," and 
had established a brilliant court at Scutari,^ was equally 
unconscious of the danger, and thought only of capturing 
Cattaro. He began by occupying the KrivoSije,* and 
blocked all the roads leading into the town. Ragusa at 
the request of Cattaro acted as mediator, and peace was 
made, probably on an understanding on the part of the 
Cattarini that they would pay a tribute to George.' 
Ragusa was beginning to be really alarmed at the pro- 
gress of the Turks in Albania, and saw the necessity of 
allying herself with the other Dalmatian townships, "prop- 
ter oppressionem Turcorum." In 1390 the Senate had 
tried in vain to mediate between the King of Bosnia and 
Hungary, so as to end the war which was desolating the 
country,* and now it made a proposal of this kind to 

^ Gelcich, Baila^ 140. ^ The mountainous region behind Cattaro. 

' Lettere di Levante^ 1403- 14 10, fol. 78; Gelcich, Batia^ 162. 
* Ref.^ in Dipt, Rag,y Sept 17, 1390, and Jan. 26, 1391. 


Hungary and Venice. At the same time it granted a 
subsidy of arms and ammunition to George BalSa. But 
mutual jealousies prevented the idea from being realised/ 


and in 1392 George himself was a prisoner in the hands 
of the Turks.* He was soon ransomed, but he lost 
Scutari, and his power was seriously shaken. 

The year 1395 proved an unfortunate one for Ragusa. | 
' Gelcicb, Balia, 161-3. * Man. Slav., iv. 39;, Oct 7, 1393. 


In the first place, one Constantine BalSa, a relative of 
George II., who had obtained a trade monopoly in the 
Zedda and inland as far as Prizren and Novobrdo, laid 
heavy impositions on Ragusan trade so as to exclude it 
from the country.^ At the same time heavy rains flooded 
the city and its immediate neighbourhood, destroying all 
the crops, and on May 19 a severe earthquake — the first 
great shock felt in Daimatia for many centuries — ^wrought 
great havoc* During this period the Adriatic was infested 
by the pirate barques of Gabriele da Parma. There was 
another quarrel with George Bal§a on account of a certain 
monk named Marino of Dulcigno, who intrigued with 
the Slaves near Ragusa. However, this was soon settled 
to the satisfaction of all parties, the Albanian markets 
were re-opened, Constantine Bal§a recovered Scutari from 
the Turks for his kinsman, and declared himself despot 
of the town. In 1395 George visited Ragusa, where he 
was splendidly received as Prince of Albania. 

Although the Ragusans were usually on bad terms 
with their immediate neighbours, they had been for some 
time good friends with the Bosnian magnate Vlatko 
Vukovid. On his death in 1392 his estates descended to 
his nephew Sandalj Hranid, to whom Ragusa sent an em- 
bassy of homage in 1395. He was a true type of South 
Slavonic lordling of that time. His one object was to 
consolidate and enlarge his territories, so as to carve out a 
principality for himself and be independent of the King of 
Bosnia or the Despot of Servia. Like all his colleagues, he 
completely failed to appreciate the terrible significance of 
the Turkish danger, and while he began by " proclaiming 

1 Ref,^ 1395-7, fol. 75, 78 ; Gelcich, Balia^ 174. « Gelcich, BMa^ p. 175. 


his misfortunes from the mountain tops, he ended by de- 
scending into the plain to declare himself the vassal of 
the powerful invader." ^ He was certainly less cruel than 
most of his neighbours, and, unlike them, was guilty of 
no particularly heinous murders. The result of his 
ambitious schemes was the formation of the Duchy after- 
wards called of St. Sava or the Herzegovina.* In 1396 
he meditated a descent on Cattaro in order to round off 
his dominions. This town was also coveted by Radi<5 
Crnoevid, lord of what is now Montenegro. Radic got 
into trouble with BalSa, by whom he was defeated and 
killed, while Sandalj, although he could not take Cattaro, 
took Budua, probably at the secret instigation of Venice, 
who did not wish BalSa to advance further north. San- 
dalj was granted the honorary citizenship of Venice. 

In the meanwhile, in spite of several set-backs, 
Turkish raids into Bosnia continued. Small bands were 
sent forward as feelers to ravage and plunder and prepare 
the way for their grand advance. We find the Ragusan 
Senate asking the King of Hungary to recommend them 
to Venice for protection against the Turks,' while they 
gave asylum in Stagno and Sabbioncello to many Slaves 
and Vlachs who were flying from the terrible enemy. 
On September 28, 1396, Sigismund, King of Hungary, 
at the head of a confederate force of 100,000 Christians, 
was totally defeated by the Sultan Bayazet at Nikopolis 
on the Danube. The King himself managed to escape 
down the river on a Venetian galley to the Black Sea to 
Constantinople, across the -ffilgean, and up the Adriatic 

* Gelcich, BcUHa^ 183. * Le. "the Duchy," from Herzeg or Herzog. 

' Re/.^ in Dipl. Rag,^ March 20, 1392. 






to Ragusa, which he reached on December 21. He was 
honourably and hospitably received by the Rector and 
Councillors, who offered him the keys of the town. He 
spent nine days there, being entertained', together with 
his suite at the expense of the Republic, and he received 
in addition a present of 2000 ducats and two years' 
tribute in advance. As a reward he granted the Republic 
the right to strike silver coinage.* On December 30 he 
departed on board a Ragusan galley for Spalato. He 
took the four sons of the ship's chief officer into his 
service, and subsequently through his favour many 
Ragusans rose to high positions in Hungary. 

Every day fresh batches of refugees fled into Ragusan 
territory before the advancing Ottoman hordes, who even 
threatened the Bocche di Cattaro. George BalSa himself 
began to fear for his own safety, and requested that 
Ragusa should give shelter to his wife and family. The 
Republic placed a palace at his disposal, and also allowed 
him to purchase arms and ammunition in the town and 
have his old weapons repaired there. But even this had 
to be done secretly, lest Sandalj, who was an enemy of 
the Ba]§as and a friend of the Turks, should retaliate on 
the Ragusans. We find an interesting entry in this 
connection by Andrea da Bologna, the Chancellor of the 
Republic, in the Reformationes for 1398: "Die . . . 
(blank space) Januarii (1398) Filius Pasayt (Bayazet) 
cum magna quantitate Turchorum el Sclavorum intravit 
Bossinam, et fuit depredatus ipsam. In reversione major 
pars ipsorum propter immensum frigus decesserunt." ' 

^ Hitherto it had only struck copper coins, using foreign silver and 
gold. Gold coins were never struck at Ragusa. 
* Gelcich, BaffUf 200-201. 


This shows that even at that early date the Turks found 
allies in the renegade Slaves. The Ragusan Senate tried 
to mediate between Sandalj and George so as to strengthen 
Hungary, and arranged a meeting between the former 
and his rival's wife, but the attempted conciliation failed. 
Apparently, too, some of the Slavonic lordlings tried to 
draw Ragusa into their intrigues with the Turks, and 
in 1399 Feris (PFerid), Governor of Sve<^anj, visited 
the town as Turkish envoy, but nothing came of the 

The kingdom of Bosnia was, as we have seen, subject 
to constant incursions on the part of the Turks, whom 
it was incapable of resisting, for under the reign of King 
Dabisa and Queen Helena Gruba the Vojvods had risen 
to power once more, and had become almost independent. 
Of these the most important were Sandalj Hrani<5, lord 
of Hlum, of whom we have already spoken ; Hrvoje, 
Duke of Spalato; and Paul Radinovid. Sandalj ruled 
over a great part of Hlum as far as the Drina. Hrvoje, 
who has been described as the " Bosnian Warwick," owing 
to the number of princes he deposed and set up, ruled 
over middle Dalmatia, a large part of Bosnia, including 
the town of Jajce, and some districts of Hlum, includ- 
ing Livno. Paul Radinovic was lord of Trebinje, part of 
Canal i, and other lands as far as Pra^. His sons, Peter 
and Radosav, took the name of Paulovid. Queen Helena 
lost her throne owing to a rebellion in 1398 or 13991 
and was succeeded by Stephen Ostoja, probably a natural 
son of Stephen Tvrtko.^ Ostoja had to depend for his 
authority on the goodwill of his magnates, but his reign 

* Gelcich, BalSoy 205-206. * Klaidj 274. 



was at first successful. He defeated Sigismund of 
Hungary, who tried to enforce his claims on Bosnia, 
and had invaded it at two points. Also on the Turkish 
frontier things were more peaceful, and, according to 
Klaiif, after the raid of 1398 Ostoja concluded a treaty 
with Bayazet to support the claims of Ladislas of Naples 
to the Hungarian throne against Sigismund.^ Later, 
Bayazet became still less formidable, as he had to hurry 
off to Asia to defend his Empire against Timur. 

For a few years after his accession Ostoja had been 
friendly to Ragusa, and in 1399 he granted them a 
further stretch of coast from Stagno to Klek, near the 
mouth of the Narenta. For this the citizens had given 
him a palace in the town and made him an honorary 
citizen; they granted the same favours to Hrvoje for 
his intercession.* But Ostoja, finding himself with no 
coast-line save the bit between the rivers Cetina and the 
Narenta, repented of his generosity, and tried to induce 
Ragusa to recognise Bosnian supremacy. When in 1400 
the envoys brought him the tribute he suggested that 
the city should throw off the Hungarian yoke and come 
under his protection. But the Republic would not hear 
of the proposal, preferring to obey the distant and com- 
plaisant King of Hungary rather than the near and 
untrustworthy King of Bosnia. The latter did not yet 

1 Klaid, 278-9 ; he deduces this from the letter of the Ragusans to 
Hrvoje, April 8, 1400, in which they state that Ostoja had protested 
against their detention of the Turkish envoy. See also Pu£i(5, Spomemci^ 
i. 28, and Lucio, De Regno Dalm. et Croat, ^ p. 258. 

^ A few years before, in 139I9 they had received part of Canali, with 
Dolnja Gora and Soko, from the Paulovidi, so that now the territory of 
he Republic extended from the Narenta to the Bocche di Cattaro. 


feel strong enough to attack the city openly with any 
chance of success where Tvrtko had failed, so he resorted, 
if we are to believe the local historians, to intrigue, and 
secretly fomented a conspiracy of ambitious nobles. The 
circumstances of the plot are not very clear, and Ragnina's 
account, detailed though it is, leaves much unexplained. 
In the early part of 14CX) four nobles, Niccol6 and 
Giacomo Zamagna, and Lorenzo and Simeone Bodazza, 
determined to become masters of the city with the help 
of the Count of Popovo (in the Herzegovina), the Vojvod 
of Trebinje, and other Bosnian barons. According to 
Ragnina the conspiracy was engineered by Ostoja, or by 
Stephen the Despot of Servia. It is more likely that 
the former was privy to it, as the Despot of Servia was 
now a person of no importance, and his territory did 
not even border with that of the Republic. The Bosnian 
king probably saw in this plot a means of possessing 
himself of the town and its valuable port ; but he did 
not appear in the actual intrigue, which was carried on 
by the neighbouring jvojvods. Ragusa at this time was 
almost deserted, a large part of its inhabitants having 
taken refuge in the neighbouring country on account 
of the plague. On the Feast of the Forty Martyrs 
(March 9) a number of the conspirators were to dine 
in the house of a certain artisan at Ragusa to mature 
their plans. The man not having enough table utensils 
for the company sent his wife to the house of a noble 
named Niccol6 Gozze, in whose service she had been, to 
ask for a loan of the required articles. Gozze promised 
to lend them, but wanted to know for whom they were 
required. The woman told him the names of the nobles 


in question, and as they were men of somewhat shady 
antecedents Gozze became suspicious. He bribed the 
woman to take note of all that she should hear at 
supper, and to report it to him the following morning. 
This she did, and informed Gozze that a Morlach named 
Milo§ and four companions had come with the nobles, 
and that it was agreed that Milo§ should wait at the 
town gate for a Slave messenger who was expected with 
letters from the Bosnian magnates. They also discussed 
how to raise a band of followers from among the dregs 
of the people, and secretly to admit some Slaves fi-om 
outside, with the object of overpowering the town guard, 
seizing the gates, and opening them to a large force of 
Bosnians. Gozze, although suffering from the gout, 
rose from his bed, had himself carried to the Govern- 
ment Palace, and summoned the Minor Council. The 
woman was secured and summoned to give evidence, and 
the chief conspirators were arrested. They confessed 
everything under torture. At the same time a trusty 
man was sent to await the arrival of the letters in the 
place of the Morlach; he gave all the requisite signs 
when the messenger arrived, and received the papers. 
The contents were as follows : " In the first place 
remember your promise and take care of yourself and 
yours, and we shall do what we have decided.** The 
conspirators were beheaded on March 10, and their 
property confiscated. A few who managed to escape 
were condemned in contumacy. This episode is in- 
teresting as being one of the only instances of an internal 
revolution in law-abiding Ragusa. There is not enough 
evidence to enable us to understand its character nor the 

Franciscan Monastery 


actual complicity of Ostoja. It may also have been an 
early symptom of the disagreement between the Latin 
and Slavonic elements of the population. 

Ostoja, after having received the homage of Sebenico 
and Trail, renewed his request that Ragusa should re- 
cognise his supremacy; but again the citizens refused, 
and renewed their oath of fealty to Sigismund, merely 
promising to take no part in the hostilities between Bosnia 
and Hungary, and to refuse to admit Bosnian rebels into 
the town. The following year a number of Sigismund^s 
opponents in Hungary, Croatia, and Dalmatia collected 
at Zara, and Ladislas crossed over from Italy and was 
crowned by the Hungarian Primate King of Hungary, 
Croatia, and Dalmatia. Ostoja himself, however, was not 
altogether satisfied, for although he had favoured Ladislas^s 
cause as long as the pretender was in Italy, the moment 
he landed in Dalmatia, the Bosnian king felt that his own 
interests along the seaboard were menaced. Hrvoje, Duke 
of Spalato, maintained an ambiguous attitude, and Ostoja 
determined to make use of this confusion to declare war 
on Ragusa. He found a pretext in the fact that two 
Bosnian rebels had been given hospitality in the town ; 
he began by demanding back the Primorije which he 
himself had ceded, as well as other territory given by 
his predecessors, and he also insisted that the Ragusans 
should recognise his full suzerainty. His demands 
being rejected he sent a force of 8000 men under the 
Vojvods Radic Sankovic, Sandalj Hranic, and Paul Radi- 
novic into Ragusan territory. Hostilities lasted from 
August 1403 to the spring of 1404.^ We have but meagre 

^ Diplom, Ragus,y 91-102. 


details of this campaign besides those given in the un- 
trustworthy chronicle of Resti, and some information in 
the Diplomatarium. According to Resti, the Ragusans at 
first drove back the Bosnians, but the latter were soon 
reinforced and again invaded the Republic's territory. 
Encounters took place at Bergato and Gionchetto, and 
4000 well-armed Ragusans commanded by Giacomo 
Gondola tried to induce the enemy to give battle, but 
without success, as the latter retired to Trebinje. Prob- 
ably the Ragusans were defeated, as we find the Senate 
asking for the mediation of the Hungarian king shortly 
after. But the difficulty was, which king, as Ladislas 
was now in Dalmatia. The tortuous nature of Ragusan 
diplomacy is well illustrated by the contemporaneous 
embassies to Ladislas, Sigismund, and Hrvoje. They 
did not wish to commit themselves by sending regular 
ambassadors to Ladislas, as Sigismund might still gain 
the upper hand, so they merely sent a monk, Marino 
Bodazza, ostensibly to obtain compensation for the pro- 
perty taken by the pretender's followers. But a request 
for mediation in the Bosnian quarrel was also hinted at. 
Ladislas replied that he would consider the matter if 
a proper embassy were sent to him. This the Senate 
refused to do, upon which Ladislas declared Ragusa to 
be his enemy. But, fortunately for the Republic, Sigis- 
mund regained his freedom, and collected a large army 
in iiorthern Hungary, while Ladislas returned to Italy. 
An embassy was then sent to Sigismund, the envoys being 
instructed to go first to Hrvoje, the Duke of Spalato, 
to complain of Ostoja's conduct, and suggest that he 
himself might become King of Bosnia ; but if he did not 


care to go so far, he might help some other member of 
the Kotromanic family, or Paul Radissic, who had been 
living at Ragusa for the past two years, to acquire the 
crown. Ragusa had always been friendly to the old 
Bosnian dynasty, and had given refuge to many of its 
exiled princes. At the same time they were to inform 
him that Ostoja, on seeing the retreat of Ladislas, had sent 
envoys to Sigismund to intrigue against him (Hrvoje). 
If the latter broached the subject of Ragusa's relations 
with Ladislas they were to say : " We are the subjects 
of the Crown of Hungary, and whoever is actually King 
of Hungary is our suzerain." They were to proceed 
to Sigismund's court only if Hrvoje advised them to do 
so. If they did go on to Hungary they were instructed 
to try to obtain for Ragusa the suzerainty over the three 
large islands of Lesina, Curzola, and Brazza, to discover 
what were the provisions of the treaty which was being 
negotiated between Ostoja and Sigismund, and to warn the 
latter against the Bosnian king's fickleness, and induce him 
to insist that that potentate should give up the territory 
he had filched from the Republic in the last war, and 
pay compensation for the damages, calculated at 200,000 
ducats, for which he was responsible. They were also to 
suggest that he should come to terms with Hrvoje, who 
might help him to reduce Bosnia to obedience, and to ad- 
vise him to sow dissension among the Bosnian magnates, 
who were always ready to rebel.^ 

The embassy departed for Spalato, and thence, at 
Hrvoje's advice, proceeded to Hungary, but there they 
found that, Ostoja having shown himself willing to 

* Diplom, Rag.^ 95, Nov. 16, 1403. 


make peace, Sigismund had concluded a treaty with 
him already. By its terms Ostoja recognised Hungarian 
supremacy over Bosnia, and agreed to renew all the pri- 
vileges of the Ragusans, and restore all the territory taken 
save the Primorije or coast-land. This did not satisfy the 
Republic, and Hrvoje was still more annoyed as it upset 
all his ambitious schemes. So he concluded an alliance 
with Ragusa against Ostoja, with the object of deposing 
him and placing Paul Radissic on the Bosnian throne. 
Hrvoje was to lead an army of Dalmatians and Bosnian 
malcontents up the Narenta valley, while Ragusa was 
to cut off Ostoja's supplies and intrigue against him at 
the Hungarian court. Sigismund, however, supported 
Ostoja, and when the latter was besieged in his castle 
of Bobovac by Hrvoje he sent a force to his assistance 
under the Banus of Mac^va ^ (Sigismund^s lieutenant in 
northern Bosnia), and gained back all his territory for 
him. But he did not forget his faithful Ragusans, and 
not only induced Ostoja to renew their privileges, but 
requested him to restore them the coast between the 
Ombla and Stagno.* After long negotiations the Diet or 
" Congregation " of Bosnian magnates met at Visoki in 
April,' and Ostoja brought Ragusa's claim before it* but 
no decision was arrived at. After further useless nego- 
tiations the Ragusans again allied themselves with Hrvoje 
and the Bosnian rebels, including this time Sandalj Hrani<5 
and Paul Radinovi<5. A second conference of nobles was 

' Fej^r, CotL DipL^ x. 4, p. 388. 
* Pu^id, Spom,^ i. xv; Klaidy 280-290. 

3 The Djed or chief priest of the Bogomil community was also present 
at this Parliament 


summoned, and Ostoja was deposed. Stephen Tvrtko II., 
son of Stephen Tvrtko I., was elected king, and Ostoja 
retired to Bobovac, now occupied by a Hungarian gar- 
rison. The new king owed his position to Hrvojc and 
Sandalj, who were the real masters of the country, and 
Ragusa applied to them to obtain a lasting peace with 
Bosnia. "For what you desire,*' wrote the Rector to 
Sandalj, " that also the lord King Tvrtko and the Duke 
(Hrvoje) and all Bosnia desire too, for God has granted 
you the favour that this should be so." ^ Eventually 
Tvrtko gave them back all the territory that had been 
theirs and some more lands besides. The Republic 
made him and his brothers, as well as Sandalj, citizens 
of Ragusa, and gave them palaces in the town. 

The loyalty of the Ragusans to Hungary was sorely 
tried this same year, for Sigismund prepared to make 
war on Tvrtko as a usurper and reinstate Ostoja as the 
rightful king. They would not side openly with Tvrtko 
against this suzerain, but they did not wish to lose the 
valuable and hardly won favours of Bosnia ; they there- 
fore placed their arsenals at the disposal of Tvrtko*s 
agents, who bought large supplies of arms for the war.* 
Sigismund sent three armies into Bosnia — one under the 
Banus of Mac^va by way of Usora, a second under Paul, 
Banus of Croatia, up the Una valley towards Bihac, and 
a third to guard the Bosnian-Slavonian frontier under 
Peter of Per6n. Ladislas lent his fleet to Hrvoje to 
keep watch at Arbe and attack Sigismund*s forces if they 
should invade the littoral. But after a few ephemeral 

^ Pu^id, i. 56 and 6i. 

^ Radki, Pokret^ Rad. iv., JugosL Akad., 85 ; Klaid, 397. 


successes the Hungarians were defeated at all points, and 
Tvrtko's position was thereby considerably strengthened. 
Ostoja, fearing for his life, asked for a safe conduct to 
Ragusa in April 1407, and the Senate, much to his 
surprise, granted it, forgiving him all his former hostility, 
" for any man who from Bosnia or from the land of any 
other lord takes refuge in our city, according to the law, 
may enter freely and live here undisturbed/' But after 
all he did not avail himself of the permit, either because 
he mistrusted the Ragusans, or because he still hoped 
to regain his throne. While Tvrtko was trying to win 
Cattaro and Budua from the Balsas, Sigismund was pre- 
paring his revenge, and in 1408 invaded Bosnia with a 
large army, defeated the usurper and captured him, 
together with a large number of magnates, of whom 126 
were beheaded at Dobor. Ostoja was replaced on the 
throne, and Sigismund retired to Buda with Tvrtko in 
his train. 

We must now return to Ragusa*s relations with the 
BalSas. When George II. died in 1 403 he was succeeded 
by his son, who styled himself Bal§a III. The Zedda 
was now surrounded by jealous rivals; the Turks 
claimed tribute, Venice wished to establish posts in the 
country against them, and various native princelings 
aspired to enlarge their estates. Ragusa being at war 
with Bosnia, allied herself with the lords of NjegoS (the 
nucleus of modern Montenegro) and with Cattaro, and 
tried to conciliate Venice. BalSa determined to oust the 
Venetians from Albania, and invited the Turks to help 
him to capture Drivasto and Scutari. Thus Ragusa and 
he were in opposite camps. Drivasto fell, and so did the 


town of Scutari, but the castle held out (1404). With 
the help of Sandalj Hranic^ and the Albanian magnates 
Venice soon recovered all that she had lost, and by June, 
1407, BalSa and his ambitious mother Helena had to sue 
for peace and give way on all points. BalSa, however, 
did not carry out his engagements, and Venice resorted 
to the threat of calling in the help of Bayazet to force 
him to do so (January, 1409) ; in June of the same year 
the Venetian fleet sailed down the Adriatic and put in at 
Ragusa, where the Capitano in Golfo met the envoy of 
Sandalj.^ BalSa, being now thoroughly frightened, went 
to Venice with his mother and signed a further agree- 
ment. But in 1 4 10 he again raided the Venetian posses- 
sions and attacked Scutari with a large force. Benedetto 
Contarini defended the town with great skill, and re- 
ceived much assistance from a Ragusan flotilla operating 
on the lake.* Balsa having also threatened Cattaro, that 
town off>2red itself to the Venetians, who were ready to 
occupy it ; but now Sandalj came forward with his claims 
on it, which caused further complications. Ragusa, 
although allied to Venice, tried to better her relations 
with Balsa on account of her Albanian trade. But this 
ambiguous attitude was not quite successful, and Ragusan 
merchants ended by suff^ering molestations both from 
the Venetians and from Balsa's subjects. In 141 2 peace 
was concluded, and BalSa restored everything. 

Once the danger from BalSa was passed Ragusan 
hostility against Venice revived again, and the Senate 
wrote to protest against Venetian depredations in Albanian 
and Sicilian waters. The Republic still desired the 

^ Ref. 1407-1411, fol. 245. * Gelcich, BcUla^ 271. 


supremacy of Hungary in the Adriatic, and although 
that cause was lost, it tried to bolster it up by inducing 
Cattaro to return to Hungarian allegiance. This attempt 
was made, however, more with the object of injuring 
Venice than with any hope of benefiting Hungary. 
Ragusa also contracted an alliance with BalSa and mth 
Sandalj, who had married Balsa's mother, and was medi- 
tating a coup on Cattaro. But the Cattarini succeeded in 
inducing Ragusa to mediate between them and Sandalj, 
and even to provide them with a large loan with which 
to arm the whole population of the Bocche. The maze 
of intrigue and counter-intrigue between Venice, Hungary, 
Ragusa, Bosnia, and the various Slave and Albanian 
princes now becomes hopelessly involved, and no man 
trusted any other. Ragusa's policy is well explained in 
a despatch,^ in which it is stated that the Republic ^* had 
to be on good terms with these lords of Slavonia, for 
every day our merchants and our goods pass through 
their hands and their territory, and we fear lest they (the 
merchants) should suffer injury." But when BalSa de- 
manded a number of Ragusan shipbuilders to repair his 
vessels for operations against Venice the Senate refused, 
fearing to incur the latter's displeasure. 

The protection and promotion of trade was the key- 
note of Ragusan policy, and everything was done with 
that end in view. In the meanwhile the Senate acquired 
much knowledge concerning the af&irs of Italy and of 
the East from the Ragusan traders, and communicated 
the information to Sigismund. Thus the latter learned 
about the advance of the Turks in Bosnia at the instiga- 

^ Gelcichj Balla, 294. 


tion of Vuk, the son of Knez Lazar, who wished to get 
possession of his brothers principality. Ladislas con- 
tinued to send piratical fleets to Dalmatia, which did 
much damage to Ragusan commerce. But the Ragusans 
revenged themselves by relieving Curzola, which was 
attacked by the Apulian fleet. " With the favour of 
St. Blaize we shot so many arrows and javelins against the 
enemy, and did their ships so much damage with our bom- 
bards, that many of their men were killed or wounded. 
They abandoned much property and arms, and not only 
desisted from the siege, but abandoned these parts alto- 
gether."^ This same year (1409) the Venetians began 
to re-establish their rule over Dalmatia, and obtained 
Zara from Ladislas. This caused an outbreak of hostilities 
between them and Sigismund, who regarded Dalmatia as 
an integral part of his dominions. While the two Powers 
were fighting the common enemy was advancing, and in 
141 1 a Ragusan despatch announces that the Turks had 
taken and burnt Srebrnica. In 141 "^ negotiations wer? 
opened between Hungary and Venice ^ in . ^hich Ragusa 
took part, and while Sigismund agreed to give up the 
greater part of Dalmatia, Ra gusa asked for ?ind obtained 
the lease of the thfee ggvc^eA islands of Lesina, Curzola^ 
andJBszza, which had been withdrawn from Hrvoje's 
rule.* The Ragusans had hoped t o obtain full owner- 
ship, but even_the lease was a great point gained , and the 
R epublic thought that it wo uld eventually become vested 
into absolute poss^jon. The islanders, however, were 
not well disposed towards their new masters, and were 

^ Dipl, Ragus,^ July 21, 1409. 

^ Hrvoje's shiftiness had at last made him fidl into disgrace. 



only cowed into submission by a naval demonstration. 
A count was appointed for each island, to remain in office 
for six months, with a salary of which Ragusa was to pay 
one-third and the islanders the remainder.^ This acquisi - 
t \Qp niig )[ )^ have been the beginning of great things for the 
Republic had its policy been a little less narrowlv pro- 
vincial and nervou s. Its territory was now fairly large, 
its commerce and finances flourishing, and with its in- 
timate connec tion with the dying kingdom of Bosnia it 
V might have extended its influence far into the hin terland^ 

estab lisVfing a Strong Ji^a tin-Slavonic State as a bulwark 
against t he adva ncing Turks. Ragusa was also trying to 
get possession oiTanother part of Canali and Dratevica 
from Sandlaj Hranic, but the latter would not give it 
up, because " if he were hard pressed by the Turks he 
would have no other means of escaping to the sea,** and 
also because Drac^evica was the best position for domi- 
nating Cattaro,* which he had now forced to pay him 
tribute. The Venetians, Sandalj, and BalSa were now all 
suflTering from the Turkish obsession. The enemy's head- 
quarters were at OskQb, whence many raids into Bosnia 
and Albania were made. In 141 5 the Turks invaded 
Bosnia for the third time, and raiding parties came as 
far as Sebenico and Almissa, so that the Ragusan Senate 
ordered the islanders to arm light galleys to co-operate 
with those of Ragusa and Stagno. The ridges divid- 
ing the hinterland from the sea were anxiously watched, 
and every moment it was feared that the dreaded tur- 
bans might appear over the crest. In 14 16 Sigismund 

^ RtsU, ad ann.f 1413. 

^ Gelcich, Balla, 302 ; Dipi. Rag*^ v. 21, 14 14. 




I ■ 









announced to Ragusa his intention of making war on a 
grand scale against the Turks, and declared that the 
property of all those who helped them should be confis- 
cated. As the Despot of Servia, Sandalj Hranic, and 
almost every other Slavonic prince were more or less 
tributaries to the Sultan, this seems rather a sweeping 
order. In the same letter he declared that the three 
islands were withdrawn from Ragusan suzerainty and 
were to be given over to one Ladislas Jakez, a favourite 
of the Empress Barbara (September 21-23, ^4^6). No 
reason is assigned for the withdrawal of the concession, 
but it was probably due to the somewhat high-handed 
manner with which the Republic had governed its new 
possessions. Curiously enough, the Senate did not seem 
very unwilling to lose them. 

There were now fresh disturbances in Bosnia, and 
Tvrtko, who had been deposed in favour of Ostoja, was 
causing trouble. He raised a band of rebels, with which 
he defeated his adversaries and obliged some of them to 
take refuge in Ragusan territory. Of this hospitality 
Tvrtko, as an old friend of the Republic, complained, but 
the citizens replied that it was better for malcontents to 
fly to Ragusa, where they usually ended by making peace 
with their king, than to other lands. For a few months 
Tvrkto was quite powerful, but soon after he was again 
defeated. Hrvoje, who had been deprived of his duchy, 
now called in the Turks to aid him against Hungary and 
Bosnia, and the Sultan Mohammed I. thereupon sent a 
force into the latter country, which defeated the Hun- 
garians near Usora, and obtained much booty. As soon 

as it had retired civil strife broke out again, in conse- 



quence of the murder by Ostoja of Paul Radinovid, a 
powerful Bosnian noble. Hrvoje died in March 141 6, 
and in October a Ragusan despatch declared that "the 
whole of Bosnia is laid waste, and the barons are prepar- 
ing to exterminate each other." The rebel magnates met 
in a Diet, and forced Ostoja to fly to Hlum, where he 
succeeded in establishing a precarious rule, but after the 
year 141 8 nothing more is heard of him. The magnates 
elected his son, Stephen Ostojic, as King, and Ragusa at 
once sent an embassy to try to obtain from him the rest 
of Canali, of which a part had been given by Sandalj and 
a part by Paul Paulovic. This request Ostojid granted, 
and in exchange for a yearly tribute of 500 ipperperi 
promised to protect the city. Sandalj and Paulovid still 
retained a part of that territory, but on Paulovic*s death 
in 141 9 Sandalj sold all his remaining share to the 
Republic for 1 8,000 ducats, and included that of Paulovid. 
The latter's son, Radosav, protested, and induced the 
Canalesi to revolt. He too asked for Turkish help, 
for, as Resti says, " he had begun after the example of 
the other Slave princes to nourish in his breast the viper 
that was to devour them all." He continued to disturb 
Ragusa for years to come. 

Between 141 7 and 1421 Balsa had been at war with 
most of his neighbours, including Venice and Ragusa, 
but in this last year his stormy life came to an end, and 
with him the house of Balsa died out, for he left no 
sons. Stephen, the Despot of Servia, Sandalj Hrani<5, 
and a native prince named Stephen Maramonte, laid 
claim to his estates, but Venice obtained the lion*s 
share, as Drivasto, Dulcigno, and Antivari surrendered 


spontaneously to the Republic. Thus disappeared the 
principality of the Zedda. 

With the year 1420 opens a new epoch in the history 
of Dalmatia, for it marks the final reconquest of the 
country by Venice and the withdrawal of Hungary 
from the Adriatic. In 1409 the great Republic had, as 
we have seen, reoccupied Zara, and in 141 2 Sebenico. 
She seized the opportunity of Sigismund's being engaged 
in the Hussite war in 1420 to seize Lesina, Brazza, 
Curzola, and Almissa. Trail, defended by a strong 
Hungarian garrison, held out for a little while, but 
ended by surrendering too. Spalato fell next, and 
Cattaro, after having for some time owed allegiance 
to Sandalj Hranic, now spontaneously surrendered to 
the Venetians, who took possession on March 8. Thus 
they regained the whole of Dalmatia, including the 
Croatian towns of Novigrad, Nona, and Vrana. Ragusa 
alone remained outside their sphere, but according to 
Resti they meditated a coup de main even on the town, 
and had actually prepared an expedition for the purpose; 
the plot, however, was disclosed by a Venetian Senator 
to a Ragusan who had lived twenty-seven years in Venice 
and was regarded as almost a Venetian. But he had not 
forgotten his duty towards his native city, and hastened 
to inform the Ragusan Government. The town was 
immediately put in a state of defence, so that when the 
Venetian squadron arrived it saw that a surprise was 
out of the question, and gave up the idea. This story, 
like every other statement of Resti's, is doubtful ; but 
according to Lucio there actually were hostilities between 
the two Republics at the time, nor is it unlikely that 


Venice may have meditated uniting her Dalmatian 
possessions by occupying Ragusa. 

The situation of Ragusa towards Hungary was thus 
considerably altered, as the Hungarians were no longer 
on her borders. The Republic from this date assumes 
a still greater degree of independence than before, but 
from the despatches to the King of Hungary it appears 
that it still recognised his suzerainty to a certain extent. 
Hungary was, however, no longer able to afford it 
valid protection, and the Venetians it did not trust ; 
this explains its subsequent attitude towards the Turks, 
whom it was now obliged to conciliate, lest it should 
suffer the fate that was soon to befall its neighbours. 
But its dependence on the Sultan amounted to little 
more than the payment of a tribute. 

As we have seen, the one important alteration brought 
about by the exchange of Hungarian in the place of 
Venetian overlordship was the establishment of the 
Rector, elected by the city council. This form of 
government lasted unchanged until the fall of the 
Republic. Its character tended to become more and 
more oligarchic, and although the " Specchio," or Golden 
Book, was not compiled until 1440, all save the nobles 
were practically excluded from any share in the govern- 
ment. A new high court of justice was formed, con- 
sisting of five judges, who remained in ofHce for one 
year. Beyond this there is no important constitutional 
or administrative change to record. 

Various measures were taken to improve the general 
conditions of the city. Lepers were confined to a spot 


outside Ragusa called San Michele alia Cresta, which 
they were not allowed to leave. As elsewhere, they were 
regarded with feelings of horror mixed with superstitious 
awe. The earliest mention of them is in a small legacy 
in their favour dated 1295.^ They probably made their 
first appearance at Ragusa at the time of the Crusades. 
We have already alluded to the great plague of 1348, 
and after that there were several outbreaks of the dread 
malady in Ragusa ; they are recorded in Gradi's history 
of the plagues at Ragusa, written "ad memoriam et 
terrorem cunctorum gentium." In 1363 a second out- 
break took place, a third in 1371, and a fourth in 1374. 
According to Gradi, the total number of victims in these 
four visitations amounted to 250 nobles and 25,cxx) 
commoners. Quarantine stations for persons coming 
from infected spots were established at Ragusavecchia 
and on the island rock of Mercana, but in spite of these 
precautions there was a fifth outbreak in 1391, which 
lasted six months, nearly all the nobles taking refuge at 
Gravosa. In 1397 a still more rigorous quarantine was 
established, but in 1400 the plague broke out afresh and 
carried off 2500 victims, and in 1401 it returned. The 
city then remained free from the scourge until 141 6, 
when two months of plague caused the death of 3800 
persons. It was imported from the East, it is said, by 
Paolo Gondola. In 14 10 one Giacomo Godoaldo of 
Ferrara had been appointed official physician to the 
Republic, and seeing that his remedies were of little 
avail, he suggested in 141 6 that plague patients should 
be isolated. The Senate agreed, and two houses in the 

^ Gelcich, Istihunam SanitarU $ MaritHme^ p. 56. 


suburb of Dande were set apart for them. When another 
outbreak occurred in 1422, the number of victims was 
very small, owing to these precautions. 

Ragusan trade continued to increase considerably, and 
followed much the same lines as in the preceding period ; 
but, owing to the Turkish invasion and the consta nt 
wars in the Slave lands, it te nded more and more to ward s 
v^ the sea. Italy, the G re ek Empire^ Asia Minor, an d 
Egypt were always the chief markets for Ragusan mer- 
chants, and special exemptions were granted to them to 
trade with the I nfidel,^ although thev were forbidden to 
sell timber, iron, or arms in those countries. Their 
relations with the Turks were satisfactory, and they 
often sent envoys to the Emirs and Sultans. At the 
same time, this did not interfere with their good under- 
standing with the Christian Powers, and they did much 
business with Constantinople and the rest of the Greek 
Empire, both by sea and by land. The land trade with 
the Slavonic hinterland, although subject to frequent 
interruptions, was still very active, and new and flourish- 
ing commercial colonies arose in Bosnia, Hlum, Servia, 
Albania, and Bulgaria. With Hungary there was a very 
active trade, both by way of Bosnia, Servia, and the 
Danube, and by sea via Croatia. Embassies were fre- 
quently sent to the Hungarian court and to the Banus 
of Croatia and Dalmatia, who resided at Zara as the 
King of Hungary's viceroy. The envoys in question 
frequently acted as commercial travellers for Ragusan 
goods, of which they brought samples to sell. An 
enactment, which is greatly to the credit of the little 

> See the Bull of 1373, in Theiner Afon, Slav, Mer,^ i. 398. 


Republic is the prohibition of the slave trade, " perchfe 
turpe scellerato ed abominevole" (1417).^ In this the 
Ragusans were ahead of most of the other Christian 
States at the time, and later, as we shall see, the city 
became an important ransoming agency for liberating 
slaves captured by the Turks. 

The citizens were now extremely wealthy, and ad- 
dicted to luxury and splendour. They took much 
pleasure in picturesque popular festivals, of which that 
of San Biagio (February 3), and the anniversary of 
bringing of the Saint's arm to Ragusa (July 5) were 
the most important. On both days races were run for 
a banner {palio)^ which attracted large crowds of peasants 
froni the neighbourhood.^ A third feast was that of the 
Forty Martyrs (March 9), established in 1400 to com- 
memorate the city's escape from tyranny.* The pro- 
cession is thus described in the Ceremonial of the 
Rector : — 

'*On the 8th day of March his Excellency the 
Rector issues forth under the arcades (of the Palace), 
whence he is invited by the parish priest of St. Blaize to 
enter the church. The following morning he again 
comes forth and seats himself on the upper seat, oppo- 
site the magistrates, as is customary in such festivals, 
with the rest of the Senators; the bells of the Senate 
and of the Council are then rung. After the third 
tucket of the pipers the Secretary begins, with his 
Excellency's permission, to read out in order the names 
of all the magistrates and of the remaining members of 
the Senate and of the Council ; all must be present, save 

' Gelcich, Ragusa^ p. 52. ' De Diversis. ' See anie^ pp. 195-7. 


in case of illness or other legitimate impediment — 
absentees are fined 25 ipperperi. This done, his Ex- 
cellency proceeds along the street of the Palace, with 
all the aforesaid nobles, marching two and two, carrying 
lighted torches given them by the people. They enter 
the church of San Biagio, our Standard-bearer, and then 
come out again in procession, carrying the three relics 
which are wont to be thus carried, viz. the Head, the 
Arm, and the Foot of the Saint, and they march across 
the Piazza, round the Loggia, and return by the Palace 
street. They again repair to the said church, and High 
Mass begins. When it is finished the Archbishop leads 
the way, followed by his Excellency, to the Loggia, 
where the guard is. Then the Preaching Father of the 
Cathedral delivers a political discourse. This ended, 
the procession returns t6 the church in the same order. 
There the Archbishop and the Rector make obeisance to 
each other before the choir ; the former enters the choir, 
the latter returns to the Palace ; the torches remain in 
the church." ^ 

Another more secular festival was that of the Tree 
on May 3 . There existed a society of patrician youths, 
from ten to eighteen years of age, and therefore too young 
to take part in the affairs of the State. The society 
elected some of its members managers of the festival, 
and '* on the last day of April they plant a maypole, 
artificially covered with fir branches, to be burnt on 
May 3. They choose a page, and three or four at- 
tendants for him, from among the patrician boys under 
ten, to read out the prayers suitable for the occasion 

* Gelcich, 46-47. 


On May i and on each of the following days the members 
of the society repair daily to do homage to the Rector 
and the chief authorities, who encourage them, and give 
them sweetmeats as a reward for the trouble they are 
taking. The ceremonies round the maypole are accom- 
panied by fireworks and discharges of small cannon, and 
on the evening of the third day the maypole is set on 
fire. While it is burning splendid fireworks are set 
going. The whole company then repair to the house of 
the page, whose father receives formal thanks." ^ 

A symbol of Hungarian suzerainty, possibly con- 
nected with the May festival, is the so-called statue of 
Orlando. In many mediaeval towns a pillar was erected 
in the chief square, from the summit of which the public 
crier proclaimed the enactments of the Government. 
Here, too, the people were wont to gather when their 
consent was required, and near this spot capital sentences 
were sometimes executed. The pillar also served as a 
support for the city standard. It was usually adorned 
with a statue of a warrior, whence it was called in 
German towns the Rolandssdule or Rolandsbild^ Roland 
being the symbol of Imperial authority. Such a monu- 
ment did not exist at Ragusa until the fifteenth century, 
when Sigismund, King of Hungary, the city's pro- 
tector, was elected Emperor of Germany. The Roland 
column at Ragusa is a square pier in the piazza opposite 
the church of the Patron Saint, with a statue of a knight 
in full armour on one side and a flag-stafif on top, from 
which the banner of the Republic floated on grand 
occasions. The right arm of the figure, from the elbow 

^ Matteo Saverio Zamagna, quoted in Gelcich, p. 51. 


downwards, served as a standard of measurement for the 
cloth merchants.^ From the platform on the summit 
political orations and funeral discourses were held and 
public announcements proclaimed. In 1825 the monu- 
ment was upset by a terrific hurricane, and among its 
foundations a brass plate was discovered with the 
following inscription : — 



TOR . ROMANORVM . ET . SEM (per Augustus) . ET . RE . D'ONGARIA . 




Part of the figures of the date are erased, but as 
Martin V. was Pope from 141 7 to 1431, and Sigismund 
Emperor from 1411 to 1437, the full date should be 
MCCCCJ^mi, or MCCCCJrJ^III, or MCCCCJirJi: with 
the III as the day of the month. There is no mention 
of Sigismund*s title of King of Bohemia, which he 
assumed in 141 9, so that the earlier date seems more 
probable, according to Professor Gelcich. On the other 
hand, in this case the day of the month would not be 
mentioned, and as the year 1420 was that of the end of 
Hungarian rule in Dalmatia (the Convention of Gittaro 
was signed on March 8, 1420), it is likely that this 
column was erected to reconfirm Ragusa*s allegiance to 
the Hungarian crown, as well as to proclaim its indepen- 
dence from Venice. The date. May 3, may have some 
connection with the aforementioned festival. 

* The Ragusan small braccioox Idkat mali=^^\ centimetres, Gelcich, 




FOR the next hundred years Ragusa remains under 
Hungarian protection, but bound by ties so 
shadowy that for all practical purposes she may 
be regarded as an inde pende nt State. During this period, 
however, she feels the weight of Turkish power more 
and more, and her tribute to the Porte goes on increasing, 
until it reaches the maximum limit of 12,500 ducats. 
But in spite of this ever-present danger she continues to 
grow in wealth, splendour, and importance, and to carry 
out her mission as a haven of refuge and a bulwark of 
Christianity and civilisation. She flourishes as a centre 
of learning and the arts no less than as an emporium of 
trade, and all the while she remains singularly free from 
internal troubles and constitutional changes — a unique 
distinction in that part of the world. She pursues the 
even tenour of her way undisturbed, conservative, aristo- 
cratic, narrow-minded, but on the whole successful and 
prosperous, and her population contented. 

Very different was the condition of the neighbouring 
Balkan lands. Bosnia was for the present fairly quiet ; 
the Turks had been driven out of the country, and their 
leader, Isak Beg, defeated in a raid into Hungary, so 
that King Tvrtko was able to reoccupy Vrhbosna, and 
Sandalj Hranid recognised his supremacy for the time 



being. The long civil war in Croatia and Daimatia 
between the partisans of Sigismund and those of Ladislas 
had resulted in the acquisition of the littoral by Venice, 
and the only prince who remained independent of the 
Republic was Ivan Nelipid, Count of Cetin, Klissa, and 
Rama. His estates comprised Western Bosnia and some 
districts of Hlum and Daimatia. He could not, of 
course, face the Venetians on the sea, but he managed to 
hold his own on the mountain ridges.^ The Venetians 
and Tvrtko were ready to come to an understanding on 
this matter, and a war against Nelipi6 was under dis- 
cussion when the Turks again invaded Bosnia. There 
were 4CXX:) Ottomans in the country all through the 
summer of 1426, and they seized a number of towns and 
raided Croatia, Usora, and Srebrnica, while King Tvrtko 
did not dare to do anything against them.* The 
Ragusan colonies in Novobrdo and Priesrinac were 
besieged by the Turks and in great danger. The 
Venetians conducted further operations against them in 
Albania, the Morea, Achaia, and round Salonica. The 
routes through Albania, Bosnia, and Slavonia were 
interrupted,' and the inland trade at a stand-still. 

Sandalj Hranid for a moment seemed to appreciate 
the danger, and after a visit to Ragusa in 1424, made 
peace with Radosav Paulovid, who now seemed ready to 
sell his share of Canali to Ragusa for 13,000 ducats 
down and 600 a year. The Republic created him and 
his son Ragusan nobles, and gave them a palace in the 

1 Klaii, 337-40. 

• DipL Rag,^ 202, June 8, 1426. 

• Jbid.^ 206, July 31, 1427. 


town.^ But he soon repented of his bargain, and de- 
manded back the territory, with the excuse that the 
Ragusans were fortifying it contrary to the treaty. The 
Ragusans refused to evacuate it, and Radosav collected 
a large force to make war on them. The Republic raised 
local levies and mercenaries in Italy, Albania, the 
Narenta Valley, the Kraina, and Hlum. A band of 
Italian mercenaries was attacked by Radosav at the 
Pass of Ljuta and forced to retire, and the enemy raided 
Breno. An Albanian force went to lay waste Radosav*s 
lands, while a mixed detachment of Ragusans and 
Albanians, 1 800 strong, under Marino Gozze, made for 
Trebinje ; but the Albanians mutinied, Radosav fell on 
the divided force, and Gozze had great difficulty in 
retiring to Breno in good order.* More troops were 
levied in Ragusa and 2000 more mercenaries obtained 
from Albania and Italy, while envoys were sent at the 
same time to the Hungarian court to protest against 
Radosav's conduct, and to request that troops should 
be sent against him from Usora. The argument was 
strengthened by the assertion that Radosav was a Bogo- 
mil.* A little later another request was made to Sigis- 
mund that he should instruct the ambassador he was 
sending to Sultan Murad II. to ask the latter to punish 
Radosav, who, although an Ottoman vassal, had violated 
the truce with Hungary by attacking a town under 
Hungarian protection.* This proves that Radosav was 

^ Dec 31, 1427, in Miklosich, 336- 5a 
> Resti ; DipL Rag,^ 215. 
' DipL Rag., 212, April 30, 1430. 
* Ibid,^ 216, June 18, 1430. 


already a tributary to the Turks, and also explains why 
Sandalj and the King of Bosnia feared to help Ragusa 
against him, although they were on good terms with the 
Republic. The Hungarian ambassador, however, was 
not given the instructions suggested, and a Ragusan 
envoy had to be sent as well. Finally, Sigismund did 
intervene directly, and formed an alliance with Bosnia, 
Ragusa, and Sandalj against Radosav, and 70,000 ducats, 
of which Bosnia was to pay 40,000, Sandalj 20,000, and 
Ragusa 10,000, were offered to the Sultan for permission 
to divide up all his territories between them. The 
Sultan sent a Pasha to make inquiries on the spot, and 
he confirmed the Republic's possession of the land it 
had bought and Radosav raided, and demanded com- 
pensation for the damage inflicted.^ Finally, after end- 
less negotiations at the Sultan's court at Adrianople ' an 
agreement was concluded by which the Republic retained 
the territory it had purchased, and was to keep the 
interest of the money invested by Radosav at Ragusa for 
twelve years as compensation ; prisoners were to be 
released on both sides without ransom ; certain special 
enemies of the Republic were to be exiled from Radosav's 
court, and all damage done to Ragusan territory in 
future by his vojvods was to be paid for by him (1432). 
In 143 1 the Council of Basel had met, and one of its 
most active members was Johannes Stoicus of Ragusa, 
who made every effort to promote the union of the 
Eastern and the Western Churches, and end the religious 
strife in the Balkans with a view to common action 

1 Dipt. Rag,, 220. 

^ An account of them occupies the whole of the tenth book of Resti. 


against the Turks. He requested the Ragusan Senate to 
try to induce the chief princes of Servia and Bosnia, 
whether schismatics or Bogomils, to send envoys to 
Basel. The attempt was actually made, but the whole 
country was in such a state of anarchy and rebellion that 
none of them were able to pay any attention to the 

A war had broken out between the King of Bosnia 
and Stephen Lazarevid, Despot of Servia, which was 
destined to last for thirty years. All the Slave princes were 
fighting amongst themselves, and Ragusa had another 
opportunity of extending her dominions far into the 
interior had she been so minded. But according to 
Resti, the reason why she abstained was that she realised 
that the Turks had earmarked all that country, and that 
for her to occupy it would be to court annihilation, and 
Trebinje, which was now offered to her, was refused. 
It seemed more prudent to content herself with a small 
compact territory and with acting the part of intermediary 
between East and West, civilisation and barbarism, 
Christianity and Islam, than to aspire to dangerous 
conquests. The Ragusan despatches for the next few 
years are full of the Turkish advance. In 1432 Isak 
Beg invaded Croatia, passing through Bosnia with 3CXX) 
men, and raided the territory of Zara, while another 
army entered Wallachia and Transsilvania, forcing the 
lord of Wallachia to recognise the Sultan*s supremacy. 
Two years later, however, the Turks met with a serious 
check in Albania, where a native force under Arneth 
Spata defeated the invaders several times; in 1435 

* Matkovid, Rcui.^ 235-36; Klaid, 351-52. 



Isak Beg himself sustained a reverse, and most of Albania 
was cleared of the Turks.' But the wars amongst the 
Slaves made organised resistance impossible, and Sandalj 
Hrani<±, whose power now extended throughout Hlum 
to the borders of Croatia in the north, far into the Zedda 
in the south, and as far as Podrinje in the east, took the 
opportunity of the war between the King of Bosnia and 
the Despot of Scrvia to join the latter in buying of the 
Sultan the right to despoil the former of his kingdom. 
The Despot received Usora and Zvornik, while Sandalj 
was to take the rest.* Tvrtko, whose power had been 
slipping from him, was now forced to fly, and took refuge 
with Sigismund of Hungary ;' but the civil war continued. 
On March 15, 1435, Sandalj died, leaving his broad lands 
to his nephew, Stephen Vukei<J, generally known as 
Stephen KosaSa,' who afterwards assumed the title of 
Duke ' of St. Sava, because the shrine of that saint was 
in his dominions. The same year Ivan NelijM^, the last 
of the independent Croatian counts, died, and his estates 
were annexed by the Hungarian king and divided 
among the Ragusan citizens Matthew, Francis, Peter, 
and John of Talovac (or Thallovez) as a reward for 
their services to Hungary. Kosa£a, r^ardless of the 
Turkish danger, continued his petty intrigues ; he at once 
b^an to quarrel with Radosav Paulovitf, who was in a 
sense his vassal, and each made a bid for Turkish help. 

' Dipl. Rag., 2j8, 330, 236-38, 24a 

* Jire&:k, ffandelstrasten, 39 and 4a ' K)aid,.353-53. 

* "Omnes dc pn^eoie ipsius domiai Sandali appelUts Cosase," 
Glasnilc, xiii. 159. 

' Hencg or Henog, because he received Imperial inveiitture, heno 
the name Henegovina. 


Ragusa attempted to mediate between them and to 
dissuade them from calling in the enemy, but Kosa^ 
asked for and obtained 1500 Turks to reduce Radosav 
to obedience/ In 1438 he invaded the plain of Trebinje, 
which was under the latter's jurisdiction, and forced the 
inhabitants to fly into Ragusan territory. Later he 
proposed to Peter and Matthew of Talovac to attack 
Ragusa itself, but they refused, and the Republic on 
being informed intrigued against the Duke, and told the 
King of Hungary that he was merely an instrument of 
the Turks. 

In 1436 the Sultan Murad again invaded Bosnia, 
and captured Vrhbosna, which henceforth became the 
Turkish headquarters in the country.* King Tvrtko 
now returned with Hungarian help, but he found his 
whole kingdom devastated, Usora, Srebrnica, and 
Zvornick held by the Despot of Servia, and the rest 
by the Turks, or by vojvods who were Turkish 
vassals. He was therefore forced to agree to pay the 
Sultan a yearly tribute of 25,000 ducats. The real 
ruler of Bosnia was now Murad, who alludes to it as 
part of his own dominions in a privilege granted to 
the Ragusans in 1442, allowing them to trade ^^in 
Romania, Bulgaria, Wallachia, Servia, Albania, Bosnia, 
and all other lands, places, and cities under my rule."' 
In 1440 he conquered the whole of Servia with the 
exception of Belgrad, which was gallantly defended by 
the Hungarian garrison commanded by the Ragusan 
Giovanni Luccari. The Sultan retired baffled, but the 

^ Resti, 1435. » Jire^ek, 85. 

' Miklosich, Mon. Sirb.^ 409-11 ; Klaid, 33S-36. 



Despot George was forced to fly, and took refuge 
at Ragusa with his treasure. The following year the 
Sultan, Isak Beg, and the Pasha of Romania all sent 
to demand the surrender of the Despot, offering the 
Republic his treasure and an increase of territory between 
Cattaro and the Drina as a bribe. The citizens refused 
to violate the laws of hospitality,^ but at the same time, 
as George was an inconvenient guest, it was hinted to 
him that he had better leave the city. He agreed, and 
suggested going to Constantinople ; but the Senate dis- 
suaded him from doing so owing to the parlous condi- 
tion of the Eastern Empire. So he went to Hungary 
instead on a Ragusan galley.' Murad determined to 
punish the Republic for this refusal, and arrested all the 
Ragusans in his dominions, the ambassadors themselves 
escaping with difficulty to Constantinople. He then 
prepared to attack the city by land and sea, and the 
citizens strengthened their defences, increased their mili- 
tary forces, enlisted foreign mercenaries, and secured the 
services of an Italian engineer. The Turkish menace 
was notified to the Pope and to the King of Bosnia, 
while at the same time the Senate tried to bribe the 
Sultan by off^ering to raise the tribute to 1400 ducats. 
According to local historians, Murad desisted from his 
proposals out of admiration for the magnanimity of the 

Mt is reported by the author of the Anonymous Chronicle that when 
the Sultan tried to induce the Ragusans by threats and bribes to give up 
George, they replied : " We should rather give up our city, our wives, 
and our children than George or his family, for we have nothing but our 
good faith ; and we should do the same with you if you came here under 
our safe- conduct" 

> Resti, 1440 and 1441. 


citizens in respecting the laws of hospitality ; but the real 
reason is probably to be found in his alarm at the atti- 
tude of Hungary, and in the fact that the city's defences 
promised a long and difficult siege. In any case Murad 
was pacified, and in 1443 Ali Beg arrived at Ragusa, and 
a treaty of peace was signed which returned to the status 
quo} King Sigismund had been operating against the 
Turks in various directions, and obtained the loan of 
some Ragusan ships to transport the Sultan's rebellious 
son (or brother) from Segna to Albania.^ But he was 
not very successful in any direction, and it seemed as 
though the end of the Bosnian kingdom were at hand. 
On his death he was succeeded by Albert, who died soon 
after, and then the Polish King Ladislas came to the 
throne, and to the rescue. It is interesting to note 
that in the embassy sent to him by Tvrtko to ask for 
help allusion was made to the common origin of the 
Bosnians and the Poles — an early expression of pan- 
Slavism.' Ladislas was assisted by the famous leader 
John Hunyadi, who in 1442 defeated the Turks again 
and again in the Carpathians. In June 1443 Ladislas and 
Hunyadi, with an army of Hungarians, Serbs, Bosnians, 
and Bulgarians, invaded the enemy's country and de- 
feated Murad at the Kunovica Pass near Philippopolis. 
Peace was signed between Hungary and the Turks soon 
after, by the terms of which Servia was given back to 
the Despot George Brankovid, and Bosnia freed from 
the invaders, but Stephen Tvrtko died before this was 

> Resti, adann.^ 1441 -1443. ' DipL Rag,^ 244, 245. 

' Philippi Callimachi, De Rebus Vladislaty lib. i., in Schwandtner's 
Scriptores Rer. Hung,^ i« 457 > Klai«f, 357. 


accomplished. He was succeeded by Stephen Thomas, 
who in September 1444 held a Diet of the Magnates at 
Kre§evo, where the Ragusan envoys came to greet him 
on his accession. He confirmed the Republic in posses- 
sion of the Primorije and of Canali, for which he was to 
receive the Servian tribute of 2cxx> ipperperi on St. Deme- 
trius's day, and the Bosnian tribute of 500 on that of 
San Biagio. This shows that Bosnia was once more the 
chief South-Slavonic State and had annexed all the western 
part of the former dominions of the Servian Tsars. 
Servia itself was little more than a vassal State of the 
Turks. During the war Ragusa had made gifts and 
paid tribute to the Sultan to secure immunity for the 
Ragusan merchants in Turkish territory and obtain the 
renewal of the privileges. To this the King of Hungary 
does not seem to have taken much exception.^ 

In the meanwhile Pope Eugene was preparing an 
international crusade against the Turks, and he also sent 
a brief to Ragusa, requesting that a contingent of two 
galleys should be provided by the Republic, as well as the 
loan of three more, to be paid for by himself, to escort his 
legate, the Bishop of Corona, which request was granted.* 
Shortly afterwards the Senate informed the King of 
Hungary that nineteen galleys had touched at Ragusa, 
viz. eight Papal ships, two Ragusans, five Venetians, 
and four Burgundians, and that they were now collected 
at Corfu, while some more Burgundian vessels, and seven 
from Aragon, were expected at Modone. The land war in 
the Balkans began badly for the Christians. On Novem- 
ber 1 1 the Hungarians were utterly routed at Varna, 

1 DipL Rag,, 266. > IHd.^ 268, 270. 


in Bulgaria, and King Ladislas was killed. The young 
Ladislas Posthumus was then elected King of Hungary. 
One of the Sultan's first acts after this fight was to raise 
the Ragusan tribute as a punishment for sending galleys to 
join the Christian fleet.^ George, Despot of Servia, with 
characteristic treachery, had arrested and imprisoned Hun- 
yadi after the Hungarian defeat. The Ragusan envoy, 
Damiano Giorgi, who had come to Belgrad to return 
the Despot's treasure, made every efFort to obtain Hun- 
yadi's release, but as George would not hear reason, he 
induced the Serbs to liberate him without the Despot's 
consent. Giorgi and his family were afterwards taken 
into the Hungarian service by the new king, Matthew 
Corvinus, as a reward, and given high emoluments. 
But they never ceased to work in the interests of their 
native city by means of their influence at Court. The 
efforts of Ragusan citizens in foreign countries were 
among the chief causes by which the Republic attained 
to and maintained its international position. 

In 1447 w^r between Hungary and the Turks broke 
out anew, and Hunyadi led an expedition across the 
Danube, but the following year he was defeated on the 
ill-omened field of Kossovo. On this, as on other 
occasions, Ragusa sent a number of boats to Albania to 
pick up the fugitives who had escaped across country 
from the fury of the invaders, and sent them back to 
Hungary or gave them asylum in the town. Peace was 
concluded, but fighting continued in Albania, and we 
now find the name of Skanderbeg, the great Albanian 
hero, mentioned for the first time in the Ragusan annals. 

^ Hammer- Purgstall, 453. 



The Senate informed the Hungarian king that the Turks 
were besieging Kroia, Skanderbeg's stronghold, with two 
large guns, one of which could throw balls weighing 
4CX) lbs. ; the town, however, was well defended by 
1 5cx^ men, and Skanderbeg was not far off, ever ready 
to fall upon the Turks and cut off small detachments 
and convoys.^ Ragusa had furnished him both with 
money and provisions, and he frequently came to the 
city to refit. He was now successful, raised the si^e 
of Kroia, and expelled the Turks from a large part of 
the country. 

We must now return to Stephen Kosa£a, Duke of 
St. Sava, and his relations with Ragusa. Like so many 
other Servian princes he was a Bogomil by religion, and 
when Stephen Thomas, King of Bosnia, abjured that heresy 
and became a Catholic, many of his Bogomil subjects fled 
into the Duchy to escape persecution, and others into 
Turkish territory, while his Orthodox subjects took 
refuge in Servia. This caused further discords between 
Bosnia and Servia, and John Hunyadi cannot be exempted 
from the blame of having induced Stephen Thomas to 
ill-treat the heretics ; * in fact he actually quarrelled with 
the King because the latter relented from his persecutions. 
The King's daughter had married Stephen Kosa2a, who 
nominally was a vassal of Bosnia, but he hardly recog- 
nised his allegiance at all, and styled himself **by the 
Grace of God Duke of St. Sava, Lord of Hlum and the 
Littoral, Grand Vojvod of the Bosnian kingdom. Count 
of the Drina," &c.' Like his predecessor Sandalj Hranid, 
he was one of the fatal men of the Balkans ; although he 

» DipL Rag,, 284, Aug. 13, 1450. » Klai<f, 380-81. « IHd,^ 382. 



tried to resist them later, his attitude contributed not 
a little to the Turkish conquest of the South Slavonic 
lands. His aim was simply to consolidate and extend 
his own dominions at the expense of his neighbours, and 
he availed himself for this purpose of the assistance which 
the Turks were always only too ready to give. He also 
proved Ragusa's most inveterate enemy. In July 1450 
he was still on good terms with the Republic,^ but in 
145 1 the first dispute arose. The cause, according to 
Chalcocondylas, and repeated by Razzi, Gondola, and 
others, was that he had taken to himself a Florentine 
mistress brought into the country by some Italian mer- 
chants, and drove his wife Helen from the Court. She 
repaired with her son to Ragusa, and the Duke demanded 
that they should be given up. The Republic refused, 
and KosaCa, out of revenge, raised duties on Ragusan 
trade, opened salt-markets in the Narenta, reoccupied 
part of Canali, and laid waste the Republic's territory. 
A more likely reason is probably to be found in Kosa^a's 
overmastering ambition. The Republic at once demanded 
help of the Christian Powers, especially of Hungary, 
against the heretical Duke, and an envoy was sent to 
the Pope to complain that many Italians were in his 
service. His Holiness replied by forbidding all good 
Catholics from having anything to do with him. For- 
tunately for Ragusa the King of Bosnia was hostile to 
Kosaca on account of the indignities to which the latter 
had subjected his wife (the King's daughter). For the 

^ Miklosich, Mon, Serb,, 441 ; according to Resti he had had a quarrel 
with the city in 1449 concerning the castle of Soko, which he had tried 
to capture by treachery. 


same reason his son Vladislav left R^usa and raised a 
rebellion against his father, allying himself with the 
Republic, to whom he promised to give back Canali as 
soon as he was master of the Duchy.^ In December 145 1 
Ragusa contracted an alliance with Stephen Thomas, who 
undertook '*to declare war without delay and carry it on 
without interruption against the Duke Stephen Vukiid 
(Kosa&i), his government, his cities, and his servants, 
with all the glorious strength of Our kingdom,' with 
Our servants, and Our friends in open warfare, as is 
suitable to Our lordship and Our kingdom, provided 
that no obstacle impede us and no Turkish army attack 
us." * The Despot of Servia and other minor potentates 
joined the league against ^^this perfidious heretic and 
Patarene." * Ragusa also sent an envoy to Hungary to 
urge the King to intervene, stating that Kosa£a was 
intriguing with the Venetians, the Turks, and the King 
of Aragon. It was suggested that this was a good 
moment for Hungarian action, as the Turks were in 
a state of anarchy in consequence of the death of the 
Sultan, and that a Hungarian army might now occupy 
Kodiviet and thus prevent them from ever entering 
Bosnia again/ Hostilities commenced in 1452, and at 
first Kosa^ was unlucky, for a number of his barons 
rose against him and joined Ragusa, and the commander 
of the leaguers forces was his own son. But soon after 
a civil war broke out in Bosnia. The Herz^ovinian 
nobles fought against the Duke while Kosa£a was de- 
vastating Ragusan territory. At Ragusa^s instance a 

^ Miklosich, 444-47 ; Klai<f, 385. ' Klaid, 386. 

> DipL Rag., 274. « Ibid.^ 292. 


legate was sent by Pope Nicholas V. to Kosa&i, who 
received him amiably, promising to make peace with 
the Republic and become a Catholic. But this was 
only to gain time, and as soon as the Turks once more 
appeared on the frontier and assisted him he again made 
war on Ragusa, and a Turkish force approached the city, 
which was now in grave danger. In July 1453 Vladislav 
expressed a wish to make peace with his father, and the 
Duke, thus strengthened, again invaded Canali, took 
Ragusavecchia, and captured a body of Ragusans under 
Marino Cerva near Bergato. Further details of these 
operations are wanting, but peace was made at last 
through the intervention of the Papal legate and of a 
Turkish Vizir, and signed at Novi, April 10, 1454, con- 
firming the status quo. Kosa^a promised the Ragusans 
that he would never attack them again " save by order 
of the Grand Signior, the Sultan of Turkey, Mehmet 
Beg" (Mohammed 11.).^ It is thus clear that already 
the Sultan's influence in this part of the world was pre- 
dominant. In 1453 the whole of Europe was shaken to 
its foundations by the capture of Constantinople by the 
Turks. This event, however, did not have much direct 
, effect on Bosnia and Hlum, as the Turkish conquest 
there had already begun. Every month some fresh raid 
was made, dealing death and destruction, and yet every- 
where the invaders found Slavonic princes ready to help 
them against others who still held out.* The first con- 
sequence which the fall of Constantinople had on Ragusa 

* Miklosich, 457-60 ; Klaid, 390. 

^ In 1456 Mohammed II. addressed a letter to ''the Sandjak Beg of 
the Duchy and to the Kadi of Novi and Hou£ " (Miklosich, 465-69). 



was the raising of her tribute to the Sultan to fCXDO 
ducats. The city again became a haven of refuge for 
fugitives from the territories invaded by the Turks, and 
many Greeks from Constantinople, including members 
of the most distinguished families, fled to Ragusa^ and 
remained there for a while. Thus we find some of 
the Palseologi, Comneni, Lascaris, and Cantaconzeni, 
and learned men like John Lascaris, Chalcocondylas, 
Emmanuel Marulus, Theodore Spandukinos, author 
of a history of the Turks, Paul Tarchaniotcs, father of 
the historian John, and many others. No doubt these 
men contributed to the revival of learning in Dalmatia, 
as they did in the Italian towns. The refugees were 
provided with food, shelter, and money, and were after- 
wards sent on board Ragusan galleys free of chaise to 
Ancona.^ The citizens would have been willing that 
they should settle permanently at Ragusa, but the Senate 
feared that as many of them were such distinguished 
men the Sultan might use this as a pretext for aggression. 
A certain number, however, did remain. 

After the capture of Constantinople it was hoped 
that Mohammed would content himself with being 
overlord of the remaining Balkan lands not under his 
direct sway. But he soon evinced more dangerous 
intentions, and proceeded to establish his complete 
ascendency, destroying all the independent or semi- 
independent States. Of these the first to be attacked 
was Servia, which the Sultan claimed through his step- 
mother, a Servian princess. The miserable remnant of 
the great Tsar Dusan's Empire was reduced to a small 

^ Appudini, i. 204 ; Engel, § 639; Luccari, 17a 


part of the present kingdom of Servia. Mohammed's 
object was to prepare for the struggle with Hungary, 
the only Power which he seriously feared, for Genoa 
was now weak, and Venice's first thought was ** not to 
recover the bulwark of Christendom from the hands 
of the Muslim, but to preserve her own commercial 
privileges under the Infidel ruler." ^ In 1454 the 
Turks invaded Servia, captured Ostrovica, and besieged 
Smederevo (Semendria) ; but John Hunyadi led an army 
against them, relieved that stronghold, defeated them at 
Krusevac, and burnt the fortress of Vidin on the Danube. 
But the following year Mohammed advanced in person 
and captured Novobrdo,^ with its valuable mines, 
" Totam religionem Christianam libidinoso ambicio- 
soque animo dicioni suae ascripsit, flagratque cupidine 
mundi," as the Ragusan reports informed the Hungarian 
king. The Republic suffered ill-effects from this capture, 
because the Ragusan merchants who had a flourishing 
trade there were driven out. In July 1456 Mohammed 
besieged Belgrad, but was defeated by the courage of 
the defenders aided by the brilliant strategy of Hunyadi. 
Unfortunately this great leader died soon afterwards, 
and Hungary was crippled by internal troubles. In 
1457 Fra Marino da Siena travelled through Dalmatia 
to preach a crusade against the Turks and collect money 
for that purpose. He raised 4CXX3 ducats at Ragusa 
alone,* and the King of Hungary requested the Senate 
to use its influence to induce him to devote the money 

* Prof. Bury in the Cambridge Modem History^ i. p. 68. 
' '' Caput illius patriae et ob mineras belli nervus." 
» DipL Rag,, 347. 



to a land crusade, as the danger on that side was more 
pressing, rather than to a naval expedition. By the end 
of the year the whole of Servia was subjugated except 
Belgrad and the Danubian provinces. On the death of 
Ladislas, Matthew Corvinus, Hunyadi^s son, was elected 
by the Diet to succeed him (January 1458). 

Ragusa, which had been described by King Ladislas 
as the ** scutum confiniorum rcgni nostri Dalmatiae," had 
been threatened by the Turks in 1455, but not seriously, 
as they were occupied elsewhere. In 1458 Mohammed 
again menaced the Republic, and sent Isak Beg into 
Bosnia to order the vassal princes to capture the city 
if she did not immediately make submission to him and 
increase her tribute.^ Hungarian aid was solicited, and 
the citizens prepared to defend themselves; but once 
more the danger was averted, as the Turks had other 
more pressing matters to attend to. 

In 1459 the final conquest of Bosnia was begun. 
King Stephen Thomas had paid tribute to the Sultan 
since 1449, and after the fall of Constantinople he had 
sent envoys to do homage to the victor,* but at the 
same time he was imploring the help of the Pope ; this 
caused much discontent among his Bogomil subjects, 
who had already shown themselves not unfriendly to 
the Turks. But after Hunyadi's victory at Belgrad 
Stephen was encouraged to further resistance ; he refused 
to pay the tribute, and actually intended to lead a crusade 
in person.' The Pope ordered his legate in Dalmatia to 

1 Dipi. Rag., 353. 

' John Sabota's letter, quoted by Klaid, 398. 

' Theiner, Mon, Hung,, ii. 291-92, 297. 


raise funds for him, and enjoined Kosa^ to help him.^ 
Stephen began to attack the Turkish garrisons in Servia, 
but after taking a few towns he came to terms with the 
Sultan early in 1458, and paid him a tribute of 9000 
ducats. On the death of Lazar, the Despot of Servia, 
the King of Hungary conferred the despotate on Stephen 
the Younger, or Toma§evic, the Bosnian king's son, who 
had married Lazar's daughter, Helena. Thus Bosnia 
acquired the Danubian region of Servia, including 
Semendria. But Mohammed determined to conquer 
even these districts once for all, and to punish Stephen 
Thomas for his audacity. The Servians themselves 
were dissatisfied with their new ruler, because he was 
a devout Catholic, and they regarded him simply as a 
Hungarian viceroy. When in June 1459 Mohammed 
approached Semendria the inhabitants opened their gates 
to him. Owing to its position at the confluence of the 
Morava and the Danube it was the key to the whole 
country, and its fall, which spelt the end of Bosnian rule 
in Servia, caused consternation throughout Europe. It 
was attributed by Matthew Corvinus to Stephen Thomas 
and his son. While this quarrel was going on and the 
Hungarian king was at war with Germany, the Turkish 
general, Hassan Pasha, had obliged the King of Bosnia 
to let him pass through the country with a large army. 
The next year hostilities broke out between Paul 
SperanCi<5, Banus of Croatia, and Stephen Thomas, in 
the course of which the latter was killed. His son, 
Stephen TomaSevic, succeeded to him, and was the last 
King of Bosnia (1461). 

^ Klaidi 401. 

^ • 


The country was indeed in a most terrible condition 
— the Turks threatened it from the south, the Banus 
of Croatia from the west, and internally the Bogomils 
were in open revolt and protected by the Duke of St. Sava. 
The Papal legate managed, however, to bring about a 
reconciliation between the latter and Stephen Tomasevic, 
who now retired to Jajce. There he collected his mag- 
nates around him, and was solemnly crowned, being the 
first and last Bosnian king who was crowned with the 
favour of the Catholic Church,^ styling himself "King 
of Servia, Hlum, the Littoral, Dalmatia, Croatia, Dolnji- 
Kralj, the Western Land, Usora, Soli, Prodrinje," &c. 
He granted many privileges to the Ragusans, confirmed 
the Republic in possession of all its territories, and pro- 
mised to pay his father's debts towards it.^ By the end 
of 1 46 1 he managed to make peace with the Banus of 
Croatia and his own rebels, and obtained help against 
the Turks from Venice, Ragusa, and elsewhere. Kosaca 
himself was in danger from the Turks, who only sup- 
ported him as long as he was of any use to them ; he too 
applied to Ragusa for money and ammunition. Pius H. 
succeeded after long negotiations in reconciling the King 
of Hungary and Stephen TomaSevic, the latter paying 
the former a sum of money and giving up a fortress. 
But in spite of this slightly improved outlook the 
final ruin was fast approaching. The Bosnian king's 
Catholicism had alienated his Bogomil subjects, many 
of whom had taken refuge among the Turks, while 
several of the magnates were holding treasonable inter- 
course with the enemy. 

* Klaid, 419. ' Miklosich, 485-91. 



/ Ot l/SSS^:?l^CSf 


I. of Cazz 


/■o/r.v*;. rii.LAt.F.s asd iSLA.yos IN R. 


htand oj (iim[ 
.. .. MfMm. 
.. .. (m 

Sift no 

K)H'\\ &€. /.V I'^ESSTIAN 1 

( atta* o. /slant/ of Lesma. 

( ttsUtnmnio ,, CttrmiB, 

Hmiina ., hramt, 

Mitktvika. ,, Lis»9. 

i(nr\s. *Vf.. /,v rcHKiSH TE 

■ %■' 




The Sultan on hearing of Stephen's alliance with 
Hungary sent to demand the tribute, and this being 
refused he vowed vengeance, but stayed his hand for 
a short while to attend to other affairs. The despairing 
King implored help of all his neighbours, and prepared 
for a last stand. More troops were levied in Bosnia, 
and envoys were sent to Italy and Croatia to enlist mer- 
cenaries.* But the support of his people was lacking, 
and resistance hopeless. Ragusa could not give men, 
being herself hard pressed, but gave arms and ammuni- 
tion.* Finding himself in desperate straits he sent envoys 
to Constantinople to offer to pay the tribute once more 
and ask for a fifteen years' truce. Mohammed granted 
this request, fully intending to attack Bosnia at once. 
The Servian Michael of Ostrovica, who heard the Sultan 
discussing this treachery, warned the Bosnian ambas- 
sadors, but they laughed at him and returned home 
with the good news. Mohammed then began his north- 
ward march with 15,000 horse and countless foot, and 
let out that he intended to attack Hungary itself, so 
that Matthew Corvinus should not send help to Bosnia. 
The army marched through OskQb to Senice, and an 
advanced guard under Mohammed Pasha captured Pod- 
rinje in Bosnia. The great fortress of Bobovac, which 
had hitherto resisted all Turkish sieges, was next at- 
tacked. It might easily have held out for many months, 
but the Governor, Knez Radak, a Bogomil who had been 
converted to Catholicism by force, surrendered it with- 
out a struggle. The traitor, however, was beheaded 

^ May 6, 1463, Ra^ki in Starine vi. of the South Slav. Acad., i sqq, 

« IHd. 



by the Turks, and a large part of the inhabitants made 
prisoners, including the very envoys who had brought 
the charter of the truce from Constantinople. The 
news of the fall of Bobovac caused the most widespread 
dismay throughout the land, and the Turkish advance 
was almost unopposed, many of the Bogomil nobles going 
over to the enemy. In eight days about eighty towns 
had surrendered. The King fled from Jajce to Kljuc, 
where he was pursued by Mohammed Pasha and be- 
sieged. On a promise that his life would be spared if he 
surrendered, he gave himself up, and was brought as a 
prisoner before the Sultan at Jajce, which had also opened 
its gates to him on the understanding that its inhabi- 
tants should be unmolested. The craven King helped 
to make the conquest all the easier by authorising his 
governors and officers to surrender (June 1463). The 
Sultan now wished to complete his conquests by annex- 
ing the Herzegovina. Stephen Kosa^a at first meditated 
flight to Ragusa, but then determined to hold out for 
a time, and sent his son, Vladislav, to levy troops on 
the coast. The Turkish advance through the bare and 
rocky Karst mountains of the Duchy proved more diffi- 
cult than was anticipated. Mohammed besieged Blagaj, 
the Duke*s residence, in vain, captured Kl]u6 (not the 
Bosnian town of that name) and Ljubuski, but soon 
lost them again. ^ A few weeks later he abandoned the 
scheme and returned to Constantinople. The Bosnian 
kingdom had collapsed entirely; 100,000 prisoners had 
been taken, and 30,000 youths enrolled in the corps of 
Janissaries. The Sultan was in doubt as to what to do 

1 Ra^i, idid 


with Stephen Toma§evi(5. It was his invariable practice 
to put the rulers of the lands which he conquered to 
death, but in this case his lieutenant had pledged the Im- 
perial word that the King should be spared. A learned 
Persian mufti helped him out of the difficulty by declar- 
ing that a safe-conduct given without the Sultan's direct 
assent to be invalid, and he himself cut off Stephen's 
head. The King's widow, Mary Helena, fled to Croatia 
and afterwards to Spalato, accompanied by many magnates, 
including the Vojvod Ivani§ Vlatkovic, and eventually 
died in Hungary. The Queen-mother, Catherine, lin- 
gered for a while in the convent of Sutjeska (Herze- 
govina), until the advance of the Turks forced her to 
escape by way of Stagno to Ragusa, where she received 
hospitality and was given a pension of 500 ducats a year. 
She remained there until 1475, when she retired to a 
convent in Rome ; she died in the Eternal City three 
years later, and was buried in the church of Ara Coeli. 

Countless fugitives from Bosnia now fled to the Dal- 
matian towns, especially to the ever-hospitable Ragusa, 
until at last Mohammed's attention was called by a 
Franciscan monk to the depopulation of the country, 
and he was induced to modify his policy of persecution 
and grant privileges to that Order, which thenceforth 
ministered to the spiritual needs of the Bosnian Catholics.^ 
Religious differences had thus brought about the final 
ruin of the land, and subjected it to the awful blight of 
Turkish misrule for over four centuries ; but they sur- 
vived the conquest. The Bogomils gradually dropped 
into Muhamedanism, which from its purely mono- 

* Klaid, 433 sqq. 


theistic character was less repugnant to them than 
Catholicism ; but a few adhered to their old tenets for 
a long time, and there were Bogomils in Bosnia and 
the Herzegovina until sixty or seventy years ago ; in- 
deed it is asserted that Bogomil rites are still practised 
by the Muhamedans of certain villages near Konjica 
and elsewhere. The Orthodox Church, however, gained 
large numbers of adherents, and is to-day the most 
numerous of the three communities in Bosnia and the 

Meanwhile the Ragusans were cowering behind their 
walls, expecting every moment to hear the tramp of the 
Turkish legions advancing to overwhelm them. The out- 
works on the Monte Sergio were strengthened, the churches 
outside the city and the houses in the suburbs of Pille and 
Plo<5e were pulled down, the wells at Ombla, Gravosa, and 
the neighbourhood poisoned, and the Government was 
authorised to destroy the aqueduct if necessary. The 
fortifications of Stagno were improved, and the Count 
entrusted with the defence of the frontier. All the 
Ragusan galleys in Dalmatia and elsewhere were recalled 
to defend the home waters, crossbowmen and rowers 
were levied in all the islands, a corps of infantry and 
lances raised in Apulia and placed under the command 
of Spirito d'Altamura, and a Herzegovinian contingent 
under Ivanis Vlatkovi<5 was formed. A loan of 15,000 
ducats was raised to provide for war expenses.^ During 
his raid through the Duchy the Sultan came very near 
to Ragusa, which he had determined to attack in person 
and occupy, as it would be a most useful port on the 

^ Ra^ki, ibid,; DipL Rag.y April 30, 1463. 


Adriatic and a basis for operations against Venice and 
Italy. While processions and prayers of intercession 
were being held in the town, a messenger arrived from 
the Beglerbeg of Rumelia ordering the Republic to 1 
do homage to Mohammed. This was done; but the ' 
Sultan demanded that the citizens should give up all I 
their territory to him, and that the ambassadors should 
follow him to Thrace as hostages. The Senate was 
filled with consternation, as the surrender of the terri- 
tory would be but a preliminary to the capture of the 
city itself. But one of the Senators, Serafino Bona, pro- 
posed that a reply should be drafted to the effect that 
while the Republic was ready to give up its territory to = 
the Turks, it would place the city itself under the direct 
protection of Hungary and admit a Hungarian garrison. 
This diplomatic answer saved the situation, for the 
Sultan, who had heard of the great preparations which \ 
were being made in Hungary, had no mind to be attacked 
by the enemy from the south-west as well as from the 
north. Moreover, his troops were being severely handled 
in the rocky gorges of the Herzegovina by Kosa^a and 
his mountaineers ; so he abandoned the enterprise for 
the time being.^ 

In the south a vigorous resistance was maintained 
by Skanderbeg,* the only Christian leader worthy of 

^ Engel, § 40. According to the legend, while Mohammed was riding 
towards Ragusa with hostile intentions he was stopped by the appear- 
ance of a venerable old man, and his horse refused to go forward ; the 
Sultan was frightened by the omen and abandoned the enterprise. The 
city's saviour was^ of course, San Biagio. 

' The name is a Turkish form of Alexander, with the designation beg 


the name since the death of Hunyadi. Captured by the 
Turks when a child and brought up as a Muhamedan 
in the corps of Janissaries, he distinguished himself by 
his prowess in the Turkish service. But during the 
Servian campaign of 1442 he was suddenly inspired with 
a feeling of duty towards his native country and the 
faith of his ancestors. He abandoned the Turkish host 
with 300 followers, obtained possession of the fortress of 
Kroia by stratagem, and from that day forth maintained 
in the wild fastnesses of Albania a desperate and successful 
struggle against the Turks. Only once was he defeated 
(in 1456); but on countless other occasions he inflicted 
overwhelming defeats on the enemy, and he came to 
be regarded as the chief bulwark of Christianity in the 
Balkans, assuming the title of '* Athleta Christianitatis.'' 
In 1444 he summoned a council of Albanian leaders 
at the Venetian town of Alessio to concert defensive 
measures. Army after army was hurled against him, 
only to be repulsed and cut to pieces. After the capture 
of Constantinople Mohammed sent Hamsa Pasha with 
50,000 men into Albania, but he was defeated by Skan- 
derbeg with only 11,000. A few months later the 
Albanian hero passed through Ragusa on his way to 
Apulia to obtain help from Alfonso V., King of Naples, 
and having received promises of a contingent of Neapo- 
litan troops, he returned in disguise to Ragusa, when he 
was given a ship to go to Redoni in Albania. According 
to Razzi,^ the Sultan heard of this visit and raised the 
Ragusan tribute in consequence. The Neapolitan his- 
torian Summonte, on the other hand, states that Skan- 

^ Razzi, lib. ii. cap. v. 


derbeg himself did not come to Naples on this occasion, 
but sent three ambassadors. He adds that Albania was 
then placed under Neapolitan protection. What is certain, 
however, is that 1000 men and 18 guns were sent from 
Naples to the Athlete of Christendom. In 1458 Alfonso 
died, and his son Ferdinand found his succession disputed 
by John of Anjou, who had the support of most of the 
barons. He then appealed to Skanderbeg for help, and 
the chivalrous Albanian, who was not forgetful of past 
services, being at the time undisturbed by the Turks, 
crossed over to Apulia in 1459, defeated Ferdinand's 
enemies, established the King securely on the throne, 
and returned to Albania the following year. Ragusa 
again furnished him with money and arms, recommended 
his cause to the Pope, and gave him ships for service 
along the coast and between Albania and Italy. It is 
probable that all his sea journeys as well as those of his 
ambassadors were performed on Ragusan ships. He also 
deposited sums of money in the treasury of the Republic. 
Between 1460 and 1461 he defeated four Turkish 
armies of 300,000 or 400,000 men each, and obliged 
Mohammed to make peace with him. Early in 1462 he 
again visited Ragusa, where he was greatly honoured by 
the citizens, and furnished with further supplies of grain, 
wine, sheep, &c. When, in 1463, Pope Pius II. pro- 
claimed a crusade, Skanderbeg was induced to violate 
the truce — as indeed Mohammed would have done had 
it suited him — and joined the expedition. On August 
4, 1464, he gained a splendid victory at Ochrida, but 
twelve days later Pius II. died, and the crusade collapsed, 
and Skanderbeg found himself alone, exposed to the full 


fury of the Turks. But he again routed them, and 
sent envoys to Italy to ask for assistance. Mohammed 
in person led a large army into Albania and laid siege 
to Kroia. Skanderbeg remained outside the town, as 
he had done in the previous siege, with a few thousand 
warriors, and repeatedly fell upon the enemy, inflicting 
heavy losses on them. Mohammed, hearing that his 
northern frontiers were threatened by the King of 
Hungary, and his Asiatic provinces by the Prince of 
Caramania, departed from Albania, leaving Balaban 
Pasha to continue the siege with 19,000 men (he had 
lost 30,000 already). Skanderbeg himself went to 
Rome to obtun further help from the Powers. But 
although he was received with great splendour, he ob- 
tained no material assistance save a little money. Venice, 
however, sent him some troops, and on the death of 
Balaban Pasha the siege of Kroia was raised. In 1466 
the Sultan returned in person with 130,000 men to 
attack Durazzo and Kroia, but failed in both attempts, 
and returned discomfited to Constantinople, Further 
contingents arrived from Venice and Naples, and Skan- 
derbeg summoned another conference of chiefs at Alessio 
to discuss defensive measures. But on January 17, 1467, 
the Athlete of Christendom died of fever. The Persian 
war continued to give the Albanians a short respite, but 
the end of their independence was not far ofl: Skander- 
beg had not had time to consolidate his country so that 
it would remain united after his death, and his dis- 
appearance was followed by complete anarchy. 

In the north the King of Hungary was making 
desperate efforts to recover Bosnia, and in his operations 



he received help from Ragusa. A few months after the 
murder of Stephen TomaSevid, Matthew Corvinus in- 
vaded Bosnia, and with the help of several of the 
magnates, including Kosa^*s son, Vladislav Vuk£id, re- 
conquered Dolnji-Kralj and Usora, with about thirty 
towns and fortresses, including Jajce, Zve£aj, Banja- 
luka, TeSanji, and Srebrenik, only Upper Bosnia and 
Podrinje remaining under the Turks. The King re- 
warded Vladislav for his services by giving him the 
counties of Uskoplje and Rama. In the spring of 1464 
Mohammed again invaded Bosnia with 30,000 men and 
besieged Jajce, but was forced to retire. The part of 
Bosnia now under Hungary was formed into two Banats 
— ^Jajce and Srebrenik — and the Governor, Nicholas of 
Ilok, Vojvod of Transsilvania, was entitled " King of 
Bosnia,'* so as to uphold the Hungarian claims over the 
whole country. In the south another Hungarian expe- 
dition was made in 1465 from the Narenta. The 
Ragusan Senate ordered a bridge to be built across that 
river, at the Republic's expense, near the castle of 
Po^itelj, so as to facilitate the passage of the Hungarian 
army, and all the necessary materials and workmen were 
sent there for the purpose. Two Hungarian envoys 
came to Ragusa to arrange the plan of campaign. The 
Herzegovina was still ruled by Kosa^a, but Turkish 
raids from southern Bosnia were frequent, and it was 
important to keep the enemy from the Narenta's 
mouth.^ Po^itelj, a quaint and picturesque hill town, 
came to be the centre of a series of operations ag^ijnst 
the Turks, which lasted until 1470. In 1465':^ 

^ DipL Rag.y Ref.^ Dec 2, 7, and 28, 1465 ; Jan. 3, 1466. 


find the Ragusans giving '' 4 schopetos parvos, 4 taras- 
sios de minoribus," 200 lbs. of powder, 1000 beams, and 
icx>o " clavos " for the defence of Podtelj, and two car- 
penters, two marangoni^ and some boats. Three bom- 
bards, building materials, ropes, bullets, provisions, and 
more firelocks and boats were added later, together with 
a stafF of boat-builders and engineers.^ 

In 1466 Kosa^a died, having deposited his will at 
Ragusa. By its terms his estates were divided between 
his three sons, Stephen, Vladislav, and Vlatko. To the 
first he also left his crown, some plate and jewels, and 
30,000 ducats, to the third 30,000 ducats, to his widow 
Cecilia 1000 ducats, some plate, brocades, and robes; 
the rest of his personalty was to be divided equally 
among his three sons, save 10,000 ducats for his soul.^ 
But their possessions were constantly menaced by the 
Turks, and the youngest brother became a renegade and 
took the name of Achmed Beg. The other two soon 
quarrelled among themselves, and each asked for Turkish 
assistance. In 1469 Hamsa Beg raided Ragusan territory, 
and an attack on the town was momentarily expected. 
A second raid was made in 1470, and Postranja and 
Canali were laid waste, the castle of Soko alone holding 
out. The Ragusan merchants in Trebinje were also 
plundered. As Hamsa refused to hear reason, the 
garrison was increased, the galleys armed, and the moat 
before the Porta Pile dug.* At this time Poc^itelj was 
being besieged. 

» • 

: * DipL Rag,y Ref,^ Feb. 5, 1466, to Sept. 16, 1470. 
* Fo6i6i Spomenict Srpski, ii. 130, Dec. 9, 1466. 
' Resti, 1470-1471. 


The Ragusans had been trying to induce the Sultan 
to reduce the tribute from 5000 to 3000 ducats, stating 
that the constant troubles in Slavonia and Servia had 
made them very poor. As Mohammed was engaged in 
the Persian war, his vizirs agreed to the reduction, but 
when he returned he not only insisted on the remaining 
2000 being paid, but raised the sum to 8000.^ There 
was nothing for it but to pay, as Turkish karaulas 
(block-houses) were only two miles from the gates, and 
an attack was feared at any moment. But it was not 
paid for nothing, for the Ragusans obtained many new ,' 
privileges ; moreover, the increase was in part due to the 
fact that the Turks were the successors to various native 
princes whom they had dispossessed, and to whom the 
Republic had formerly paid tribute. The Pope renewed 
the exemption to trade with the Infidel. The one 
danger was that the Turks should suddenly desire to 
capture the city, as on more than one occasion they had 
been on the point of doing. It required all the skilful 
diplomacy of the Senate to avoid this contingency. 

In January 1474 the Turks renewed their incursions 
into Albania. Skanderbeg on his deathbed had entrusted 
the task of defending his country to the Venetians, 
which they, with the help of the Montenegrins and some 
Albanian tribes, attempted to do. They themselves 
held various towns on or near the coast, including 
Scutari, which was now besieged by an immense Turkish 
army. Among the defenders were several Ragusans, 
and the Republic was throughout the siege well supplied 
with news of all the operations. The Turkish leader 

» Engel, § 40. 


was Suleiman Beg, a Bosnian renegade, while the Venetians 
were led by Andrea Loredano, and their allies by Ivan 
Crnojevnid, a Montenegrin. Hostilities began with the 
defeat of the Turkish fleet at the mouth of the Boiana 
by Gritti, but by May the enemy had invested the town. 
The garrison consisted of only 1 300 men, while it con- 
tained 700 non-combatants, but it was well provided 
with arms, ammunition, and food. The besiegers 
brought up much heavy artillery drawn by camels. 
The Ragusan Senate was convinced that if Scutari fell 
it was all up with Albania and Dalmatia, and that even 
Italy would be in danger. The Turks delivered an 
attack and eflFected a breach in the walls ; the garrison 
not wishing to exhaust themselves, waited until the 
enemy had entered, and then fell upon them with 
such fury that they drove them back, killing 2000 
and wounding an immense number. Suleiman Beg 
announced this disaster to the Sultan, and then abandoned 
the siege, having lost 7000 men killed and 14,000 
wounded in all. As some Ragusans had taken part in 
the defence, the Sultan again raised the Republic's tribute 
to 10,000 ducats.^ In 1477 the Turks attacked Kroia, 
Skanderbeg's old stronghold, and as the Venetians could 
not relieve it, it fell, while numerous bodies of Turkish 
cavalry made inroads into Friuli from Bosnia. The 
Venetians finally made peace, giving up Scutari and 
Kroia, and agreeing to pay 10,000 ducats a year for 
trading rights in the Turkish dominions. They now 
held only Durazzo, Antivari, and Butrinto, all the rest 
of Albania being occupied by the enemy. 

^ Hammer-Purgstall, iii. 191. 


During these operations Ragusa was more than once 
in serious danger, and Pope Sixtus V. granted full in- 
dulgence to all those who contributed to the defence of 
the city, whether natives or foreigners. He said of it : 
" In oculis Turchorum quasi propugnaculum sita existit, 
maribus satis munita, florenti populo decorata ac armis et 
aliis instrumentis bellicis abundans, et hominum suorum 
virilitate parata adversus prsedictorum incursus semper 
existit." The Sultan, he adds, was planning to attack it 
with an immense army, and it could not hold out unless 
other Christians came to its assistance.^ The city, how- 
ever, was saved once more by the crushing defeat of the 
Turkish army by the Hungarians in Transsilvania. 

In 1 48 1 Mohammed II. died, and was succeeded by 
his son Bayazet. Iskender Pasha, Beglerbeg of Servia, 
then ravaged Dalmatia, with the excuse that on the 
death of the Sultan all the treaties made by him were 
invalid unless renewed by his successor. Venice at once 
sent ambassadors to obtain their renewal, but the negotia- 
tions proved difficult, and lasted over a year. Ragusa 
was more fortunate; all her privileges were confirmed, 
and the tribute reduced to 3000 ducats.^ In 1483 
Bayazet determined to complete the conquest of the 
Herzegovina, and sent a large force to invade it under 
one Gjursevic Beg, a Bosnian renegade. This time the 
task proved easier, as the succession of raids had broken 
the back of the Herzegovinians* resistance. Vlatko fled 
from Castelnuovo to Ragusa, and thence to Hungary. 
This so incensed the Turks that they again threatened 
to seize the city, but the Republic appeased them by a 

^ Hammer-Purgstall, iv. 4. 




gift of 12,500 ducats to the Sultan and 500 to his 
Ministers as a bribe, while it agreed to pay an additional 
100 a year to Aliza, the newly-appointed Sandjakbeg 
of the Herzegovina. It is said that Aliza had already 
come to an understanding with the commander of the 
Hungarian guard in Ragusa to enter the town, but the 
Senate discovered the plot in time, and had the traitor 
strangled, together with two accomplices.^ A Ragusan 
citizen named G. Niccol6 Palmotta was put to death for 
intriguing with the Turks at Castelnuovo. 

With the conquest of the Herzegovina Ragusa*s 
relations with the Turks became more intimate. The 
whole of Bosnia, save Jajce and the surrounding district, 
the Herzegovina, all Albania excepting a few Venetian 
towns, parts of Croatia, Slavonia, and Hungary were in 
Turkish hands. Dalmatia as far as the Narenta's mouth 
was still Venetian, and so was Cattaro, although a strip 
of the coast of the Bocche, including Castelnuovo, was 
held by the Turks. Ragusa's land frontier was thus 
encompassed on all sides by the Infidel save in the 
north, where the marshy delta of the Narenta divided 
it from Venetian territory. Hungary was weak on her 
southern border, and much occupied with the German 
wars in the north ; but although Ragusa could hope for 
little help in that quarter, she kept on good terms with 
the King, and continued to furnish him with information 
as to the movements of the enemy, and to pay him the 
tribute of 500 ducats at irregular intervals. This she 
did partly for commercial reasons, the Hungarian trade 

* Engel, § 40. 


being still important, and partly because she hoped that 
the cause of Christendom in the Western Balkans might 
yet triumph under Hungarian auspices. 

On the other hand, the old jealousy of Venice was by 
no means dead, and the Ragusans were suspicious of her 
every movement, fearing that by a coup de main she might 
capture the city, and thus unite her Dalmatian possessions 
with Cattaro and gain an unbroken line of posts all down 
the Adriatic. That Ragusa's fears of Venetian hostility 
were not groundless became manifest the following year. 
Venice was then at war with Alfonso of Ferrara ; the 
causes of that war ofFer a curious parallel with those 
of Venetian hostility towards Ragusa. Like Ragusa, 
Ferrara was an independent State placed between the 
main Venetian possessions and an outpost — in this case 
Ravenna. In addition there were disagreements on 
account of the salt monopoly and the navigation dues, 
as in the case of Ragusa. A Venetian flotilla was 
blockading the entrance to the Po and besieging the 
city. Some Ragusan galleys happened to be up the 
river, and were detained by Ippolito d'Este, who utilised 
them and their crews for the defence. When the 
Venetian fleet under Angelo Trevisan attempted to sail 
in it was repulsed by the shore batteries, with the help, 
it is said, of the Ragusan gunners. The Venetian 
Government out of revenge issued a decree which greatly 
hampered Ragusan trade with Venice and her possessions 
(September 21, 1484). Ragusan residents and merchants 
were expelled from Venice, and all Ragusan ships forced 
to pay 1 00 ducats as anchorage dues, while some of them 
were seized as compensation for the damage suflFered at 



Fcrrara.^ Other impositions were also levied, and 
although the dispute was settled soon after, mutual 
distrust continued as before. 

In 1490 Matthew Corvinus died, and the disap- 
pearance of that able and warlike monarch caused a 
recrudescence of Turkish activity in all directions. In 
1492 the Republic suffered from the raids of Kosaca*s 
renegade son Achmet. Kosa£a had left large sums of 
money at Ragusa in trust for his sons, and Achmet, who 
had already received his share, now demanded that it 
should be paid over again, and accused the Republic 
before the Sultan of having robbed him. Although 
the Ragusan ambassadors showed Bayazet Achmet's 
receipt, the Sultan ordered the Republic to pay 100,000 
ducats at once. The new King of Hungary, Ladislas II., 
promised help, but as it was not forthcoming the 
Republic had to pay. 

In 1499 ^^^ ^^^y ^^^ again in danger of a Turkish 
attack, and envoys were sent to Hungary to raise a force 
of mercenaries. The reasons for this hostility, besides 
the usual desire on the part of the Turks to occupy so 
excellent a port, were due to the fact that many of the 
Bosnian and Herzegovinian nobles who had taken refuge 
at Ragusa frequently made raids into the conquered 
territory, doing much damage to its new occupants. 
The Turks also believed that the Ragusans sometinies 
helped even the Venetians. In fact, the reports of the 
Ragusan " exploratores " (spies) and traders in all parts 
of the Ottoman dominions were often transmitted to 
other Christian potentates besides the King of Hungary. 

^ Engel, i<W. 


On this occasion the Venetians were informed that the 
Turkish fleet was to be ready in May, and that bridges 
were being built across all the rivers in Albania.^ But 
apparently the Sultan put oflF his expedition, and 
decided to send only four ships to Apulia to fetch 
the body of Djem.' He altered his plans again in 
June, got ready a large fleet, and concentrated the 
army at UskUb. In July the land force had advanced 
northward to Pirot; by August it had crossed into 
Albania, and was encamped on the coast opposite Corfu. 
The fleet left Gallipoli, and artillery was sent to Albania 
and the Morea.' 

The last years of the fifteenth century and the first 
of the sixteenth were marked by plagues and earth- 
quakes at Ragusa. Razzi mentions epidemics of various 
kinds in 1500, 1503, and 1505, when 1600 persons died; 
and earthquakes in 1496 and 1504. The Republic's 
trade was also harried by the numerous corsairs which 
infested the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. In 15 10 
seven Candiot pu*ate barques captured two Ragusan gal- 
leys laden with Ragusan goods worth 30,000 ducats, as 
well as valuable property belonging to some Floren- 
tines ; but the stolen goods were recovered through the 
action of the Venetian Senate. The Sultan of Egypt, 
who, like other Muhamedan potentates, did not always 
distinguish between one Christian race and another, de- 
tsuned five Ragusan vessels at Alexandria as a reprisal 
for the capture of some Moorish ships by the Knights of 

* DipL Rag,y 412. 

' An exiled prince of the Imperial family, and a pretender to the 
throne. He was a notable figure at the court of Pope Alexander VI. 
' Valentinellii extracts from Marin Sanudo, p. 31, April 10, 1499. 

; - 


*/ ^ 


Rhodes. But the Sultan was pacified, and he returned 
the ships and granted the Ragusans permission to trade 
with the East Indies through Egypt and Syria. In 1509 
the Republic had availed itself of Venice's difficulties con- 
sequent on the League of Cambrai to obtain the removal 
of trade restrictions, and it provided Venice with grain 
and war stores in return.^ The following year it in- 
formed the Venetian Government that the Sultan had 
made a truce with Hungary in order to wrest Dalmatia 
from them. In 1 5 1 2 the Sultan once more raised the 
tribute from 3000 to 5000 ducats, and threatened the 
city with an expedition of 500 sail, probably in conse- 
quence of the assistance given to Venice ; but again the 
danger passed ofF. 

In 1520 an earthquake, far more severe than any 
shock hitherto experienced, occurred, and did damage 
valued at 100,000 ducats in the town, and 50,000 in the 
neighbourhood. The Monte Bergato seemed about to 
fall and overwhelm Ragusa, *' but the city was saved 
through the intervention of the San Biagio and of the 
Blessed Virgin.** * Twenty persons were killed and many 
injured. The little chapel of San Salvatore was erected 
as a votive offering to express the gratitude of the citi- 
zens at the salvation of the town. Six years later a 
terrible pestilence broke out, and wrought fearful havoc 
in spite of the precautions taken to isolate the sick. The 
death-rate was about 100 a day,^ and in all 164 nobles, 
184 monks and nuns, and 20,000 other citizens died. 
The city was abandoned by all save a guard of soldiers 

' Engel, § 41. ' Razzi. 

» Engel, § 42. . 


and the crews of two galleys remaining in the port. 
The Senate held its sittings at Gravosa, and the popu- 
lation only returned after twenty months.^ Shortly after 
a pirate fleet of twenty-four sail appeared oflF Molonta 
threatening the town. But in spite of the disorganisa- 
tion caused by the plague the Government was able 
to fit out a fleet of ten large ships, two galleys, one 
barque, and eighteen brigan tines, under the command of 
Marino Zamagna, who, with the help of two Venetian 
ships, drove the pirates out of the Adriatic. 

The year 1526 was a momentous one for Christen- 
dom. The Turkish wars with Hungary had been going 
on intermittently for many years, now one side gaining 
the advantage now the other, but no decisive operations 
had taken place recently. In Bosnia, the fortress of 
Jajce became the centre of the fighting, and was again 
and again besieged by the Turks, who were again and 
again repulsed with heavy loss. Besides Jajce, the 
Hungarians held a strip 6f territory south of the Save, 
including the fortresses of Zvornik, Szabics, and Bcl- 
grad. When Suleiman the Magnificent ascended the 
throne of Othman in 1520, he determined to seize 
these strongholds so as to open the way into Hun- 
gary. He collected a powerful army, and led it in 
person into the Banate. Szabdcs was the first to fall, 
in 1521 ; Semlin, Slankamen, Mitrovid, Zvornik, TeSanj, 
and Sokol were next captured, and after a long siege 
Belgrad was taken by treachery. But the attack on 
Jajce, which was defended by the gallant Peter Keglevid, 
failed completely. A second attack on Jajce was equally 

^ Razzi, ad ann., 1 526. 




unsuccessful, owing to the arrival of a Croatian force 
under Frangipani. In 1526 Suleiman again invaded 
Hungary, and on August 29 the great battle of Mohdcs 
was fought, in which the Hungarians were totally de- 
feated and 20,cx^o of them, including their King, killed. 
This disaster marks the end of Hungary for the time 
being. The Sultan conquered all that remained of Bos- 
nia, including Jajce, in 1528, as well as a large part of 
Croatia and southern Hungary. 

Ragusan dependence on Hungary now ceased, and 
the Republic refused to recognise any claim to allegiance 
on the part of either John Zapolya, who succeeded to 
what remained of the kingdom, or of Ferdinand of 
Austria, the German Emperor. In 1527 Ferdinand 
wrote to the Senate, requesting them to remain faithful 
to him as overlord of Hungary, as they had been to his 
predecessors. But no attention was paid to this demand, 
and the Republic remained more or less under Turkish 
protection until its fall.^ But it obtained from the 
Turks all the commercial privileges granted by the King 
of Hungary, and its trade in the latter country flourished 
under the Crescent as well as under the Cross. After 
the capture of Buda some Ragusans actually farmed the 
taxes of the city.* 

» Dipi Rag., 441. * Engel, § 43. 




IN spite of Ottoman raids, piracy, plagues, and earth- 
quakes, the Republic prospered exceedingly in every 
direction. According to Palladius Fuscus, there 
were three hundred Ragusan merchantmen on the sea, 
visiting every port. Ragusa was the starting-point for 
journeys into Turkey, and the ambassadors of foreign 
Powers passed through the city on their way to Con- 
stantinople. Its traders were to be found in every part 
of the Mediterranean. At the end of the period of, 
Venetian domination, in 1358, we have seen that "mari- 
neritia Rhacusii erat amissa." But after the proclama- 
tion of independence it revived and increased to a far 
greater degree than ever before, and to this the per- 
mission granted by the Popes to trade with the Infidel 
contributed not a little. In 1434 the Bull Ccsna Domini^ 
based on the decrees of the Council of B&le, was issued 
as follows : — 

" To the city of Ragusa, situated on a hard rock, on 
the coast of the sea and therefore exposed to its ire, and 
in a most sterile land, wholly devoted to the Church of 
Rome and ever obedient to her, constantly faithful to 
the King of Hungary ... is granted permission to 

navigate with its ships even unto the Holy Land and to 



the ports of the Infidel, for the purpose of conveying 
pilgrims thither, and of trading ; to maintain consuls, erect 
churches, and establish cemeteries in those countries." 
y/\ That Ragusan trade extended as far as England i s proved 
by the letter of Barbarigo, the Venetian ambassador to the 
Porte, who in 1 5 1 3 passed through the city on his way 
to Constantinople. He wrote that in the harbour was a 
ship which ^^ had come from England laden with 9000 
pieces of cloth worth 85,000 ducats, besides tin and 
various kinds of stuff valued at 13,000 ducats, all be- 
longing to Ragusans ; and to-day, the third day, another 
ship of 5000 ioui has departed laden with silks and 
Zambeloti worth 100,000 ducats, besides 12,000 ducats' 
worth of gropiy all belonging to Ragusans and Floren- 
tines." He adds that the wealth of Ragusa was very 
great and incredible.^ In 1526 Clement VII. addressed 
a Brief to the Chancellor and Councillors of the Duchy 
of Brittany, who had seized a Ragusan ship coming from 
England laden with English goods, believing it to be 
English property.* Part of the cargo was recovered, 
but the loss amounted to 70,000 ducats, which caused a 
number of bankruptcies at Ragusa.' 

Ragusan trade with the Greeks continued down to 
the fall of the last Greek despotates in the Morea. 
In June 145 1, only two months before the capture of 
Constantinople by the Turks, the Republic received a 
Golden Bull from the Emperor Constantine Palseologus, 
decreeing that the Ragusans in the capital might build 
themselves a church and an official residence for the 

^ Valentinelli's extracts from Sanudo, i. 297. 
' Theiner, Mon. Slav. Mer,^ i. 805. ' Ragnina. 


consul whom they elected ; if a Greek claimed a debt of 
a Ragusan he was to appeal to the latter*s consul, while 
in the inverse case the Ragusan would appeal to the 
local authorities ; Ragusan merchants might import and 
export goods free of duty save for a 2^ per cent, tax 
on the sale of imports ; there was to be no limit to the 
number of Ragusans residing at Constantinople; if a 
Ragusan left the city owing money to natives, none of 
his compatriots might be arrested in his place. The same 
year two Silver Bulls of a similar character were issued to 
the Ragusans by Thomas Pi^lseologus, Despot of Achaia, 
at Misithia, and by his brother Demetrius, Despot of 
the Peloponnesus, at Chiarenza. The treaties were 
negotiated by Volzo Bobali, who in 145 1 made a journey 
through the remnants of the Greek Empire to improve 
commercial relations with his own city ; but they were 
merely the renewal of old-established connections, for 
since the fourteenth century Ragusan traders had brought 
the famed silks of Chiarenza to Ancona^ and Italy. 
In the treaty with Ancona of 1372 allusion is made to 
the Ragusan trade in spices, sugar, and silks from 
Tartary and **Gazaria," which shows the wide extent 
of the city's sea-borne trade. 

At the same time, as we have seen, the Republic's 
relations with the Turks and the Egyptians were by no 
means unfriendly, and every opportunity was seized to 
ensure a good understanding with the Court of Brusa 
and afterwards of Adrianople. The Turkish trade was 

* Tafel und Thomas, Kais. Wiener Akad. der Wissensch. ; Heyd, 
Histoire du Commerce du Uvanty ii. 292 sqq, ; Makushevi Mon, Hist 
Slav, Mer,, p. 1 1 1. 


chiefly carried overland, especially after the establish- 
ment of the Ottomans in Europe, and Ragusa's friendly 
relations with the Slave princes gave her easy access to 
the Balkan trade-routes, and therefore an advantage over 
her Italian rivals. After the conquest of the Slave States 
by the Turks the Ragusans were granted the fullest 
privileges, although they were liable as before to attacks 
from brigands and arbitrary impositions on the part of 
the Pashas and Sandjakbegs. Some of their old settle- 
ments in the Balkans were destroyed, but others arose in 
their place. Of the older towns, only Belgrad maintained 
its former importance under the new rulers. But now 
Vrnbosna (Sarajevo, Bosna Serai in Turkish) arose, 
founded, it is said, before the invasion by Ragusan 
merchants. Instead of Novobrdo we find Novibazar 
and Prokopje (Prokuplje), Skoplje (Oskiib), Sofia, 
Travnik, and Mostar. In all these towns there were 
wealthy Ragusan colonies, each with its church and its 
consul. Some were found even at the mouths of the 
Danube.^ The inland trade in Turkish times was carried 
on by caravan as before, and along the same routes. 
Turkish guard-houses were only two miles from the 
town, but the traffic became more active in the sixteenth 
century than it had ever been previously. Benedetto 
Ramberti, Venetian ambassador to the Porte, gives an 
interesting account of the journey from Venice to Con- 
stantinople via Ragusa in his Libri Tre delle Cose dei 
Turchi} He took exactly one month to go from Venice 

* Jireiek, op. cii.y p. 6i. 

* I have spelt the names as they are in that book, inserting the modem 
spelling in brackets. 


to Ragusa, owing to the bora &nd the scirocco^ which 
drove the ship back continually and forced her to remain 
in various ports for several days at a time. From 
Ragusa it took him thirty-four days to reach the 
Turkish capital, by the following stages: — 

February %th. — From Ragusa to Trebinje, 1 6 miles, by 
**a very bad and dangerous road, over steep and pre- 
cipitous mountains, which we had to ascend more on 
foot than on horseback. . . . All this country formerly 
belonged to the Duke Stephen Herzeg, father of the 
young Herzeg who is now in Venice; it has become 
quite Turkish, and is under the Sandjak of the Duchy." 

February loth. — Reached Rudine, 20 miles, passing 
by the castle of Cluaz (or Klobuk), then partly in ruins. 
On the nth Curita (Korito) was reached, 28 miles, and 
on the 1 2th he passed Cervice (Cernica) and then on to 
Verba, 25 miles. 

February 13M. — Priedio, 24 miles. **We passed 
through a mountainous gorge, on each side of which is 
a small castle, one of them in ruins, the other still in 
good repair, called Vratar.^ Here Duke Stephen kept a 
guard-house, where all travellers had to pay a toll. The 
castles are built into the living rock ; they are reached 
by a road by which only one person at a time can pass, 
and could easily be defended by twenty men against a 
whole army.*' 

February 14M. — Orach, 28 miles, passing through 
G)zza (Fo2a), " a large settlement with good houses in 
the Turkish style, many shops and merchants. Here 
resides the Sandjak of the Duchy, who has all Servia 

^ This is the celebrated Sutjeska gorge. 


under his authority. By this spot all goods going from 
Ragusa to Constantinople must pass, as also those from 
Constantinople to Ragusa. No horse worth over looo 
aspers (20 ducats) is allowed to cross the river, but if 
any traveller brings one he must either spend more in 
bribes than the horse itself is worth, or sell it for what 
it will fetch.'' 

February 1 5/A. — The first guard-house on the Kovaz 
Mountain, 25 miles. 

February 1 6th. — Plevlje, 34 miles, ** which is not an 
unattractive place for this country. Here five years ago 
a caravan of Venetian merchants of about one hundred 
horses was attacked by evil persons, who killed and 
wounded many, two Venetian nobles, Nani and Cappello, 
being among the dead. Watch against the brigands is 
kept in the following manner : one man from the village 
goes through the woods beating a drum and looking out 
to see if any person is lurking about, and this sound in- 
forms travellers that the passage is secure. The villages 
which provide these watchmen are free of taxes." 

February 17/A. — Priepolje, 24 miles. "Here and at 
Plevlje, which are both very large and pleasant towns 
for this <:ountry, the people are all Christians ; ^ but in 
the house where we lodged we found a woman with 
seven children, the eldest of whom had turned Turk 
(Muhamedan), and this because the Sultan Selim, 
wishing to increase the number of Turks, imposed a 
heavy poll-tax, called the Talotz, on all the Christians, 

^ At present they are nearly all Muhamedans, having abjured 
Christianity, together with most of the inhabitants of Albania and many 
of those of Bosnia and other Balkan lands, during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. 


but he exempted those families who made one of their 
sons a Turk. This induced many to free themselves 
thus from the tax ; but the Sultan did not carry out the 
whole of his promise, and maintained the Talotz on all 
save those who actually turned Turks themselves." 

February 18/A. — " Reached Vuatz, 32 miles, passing by 
St. Sava, where there is a very large monastery of Servian 
caloyers, who dress and live in the Greek fashion, but 
speak Slavonic. They show to travellers the body of 
St. Sava, which is still in a perfect state of preservation. 
They receive more alms from the Turks and the Jews 
than from the Christians.^ At the mount of the Morlak 
(Molatschidi) ends the Sandjak of Servia and that of 
Bosnia begins, in which is Senice.'* 

February 19/A. — Novibazar, 40 miles, "a very large 
and celebrated market-place, full of merchants and 
shops, both Turkish and Christian, some of them 
Ragusans. Close by flows a beautiful clear stream, 
which enters the Morava shortly after." 

February 20/A. — Ibar, 16 miles, near the " Mountain 
of Silver, which should be the Mons Rhodopus." 

February list. — Statoria, 25 miles, which was 
reached by passing over the Mountain of Silver, * * very 
high and difficult to climb, especially in winter, when it 
is covered with snow. On the summit is a road, a braccio 
and a half wide, by which one passes not without danger 
from the precipice." 

February 7.2nd. — Suatza, 25 miles. "We crossed the 
broad Toplitza, which is a plateau covered with little 

^ In the Balkans there are many shrines worshipped by Christians 
and Turks alike, especially in Albania. 


hilloclcs and surrounded by high mountains; but the 
country is agreeable, and produces delicious wines and 
much grain. The village of Toplitza is not only 
pleasant and beautiful, but fertile and well provided 
with all the necessaries of life. Here we begin to 
breathe again after the long travail and danger of the 
past journey.** 

February 2yd. — Buovaga reached after passing 
through Nissa (Ni§), "which was once a city, but is 
now reduced to a fair-sized village in the Turkish 

February 24/A. — Clissariza, in Bulgaria, 28 miles, 
which is here separated from Servia by Mount 

February l^ih. — Zaribrod, 28 miles (the present 
Servo-Bulgarian frontier), passing through Pirot, "for- 
merly a walled castle built in the ancient style of very 
large blocks of stone.'* 

February 26/A. — Bellizza, 25 miles, in the fertile 
plain of Sofia. 

February 27/A. — Sofia,^ 15 miles. Here there are 
many Ragusan merchants and Jews, but the inhabitants 
are mostly Turks. 

March u/, 1534. — Vacarevo, 28 miles, reached 
after riding all day across a treeless plain. 

March 2nd. — ^Vieterno, 28 miles. 

March yrd. — Celopinci, 32 miles, after passing 
Bazarcich (Tatar Bazarjik). 

March ^th. — Cognuzza, after passing Philippopolis. 
" We still see the remains of the walls, which are in part 

^ The present capital of Bulgaria. 


entire and fine. There is a very long wooden bridge 
across the Maritza, which flows close by, consisting of 
over thirty arches. Under these many branches of the 
river pass." 

March 6th. — Chiudegegnibustraman (?). 

March ^th. — Adrianople, 22 miles. "We crossed 
the bridge of MostafFa Bassa (Mustafa Pasha) over the 
Maritza. It is very fine and wide, and has twenty 
arches, all of marble, with a gilded slab in the middle, 
on which are inscribed in blue Turkish letters the date, 
the names of the architect and the builder, and the 


March %th. — Sugutli, 20 miles. 

March loth. — Bergas. 

March nth. — Chiorlich. 

March 1 2th. — Chiumbergasti. 

March 13/A. — Cocchiucchemeghi, 20 miles. 

March 14/A. — Constantinople, 12 miles. "On ar- 
riving here we felt as though we had issued out of 
Hell, for the whole country from Ragusa until within 
a few miles of Constantinople is for the most part un- 
cultivated and horrible, not by nature, but by the 
negligence of the inhabitants, full of terrible forests 
and dangerous precipices, very unsafe on account of the 
brigands, very wretched as to accommodation, so that it 
is a fine thing to have been through it, but very strange 
and difiicult while actually on the journey." These 
words are applicable to this day to a large part of the 
country traversed, and will continue to be a true descrip- 
tion so long as the Turks hold sway over it. 

Caterino Zen, another Venetian ambassador to Con- 


stantinople, travelled through the Balkans by the Spalato 
route in 1550, employing fifty-two days between Spalato 
and the Turkish capital, of which three were spent at 
Novibazar and six at Sofia. He adds that without 
baggage the journey may be accomplished in one month, 
and from Ragusa in twenty-five days, while the Vlach 
runners do it in fifteen. An anonymous traveller 
describes the route from Ragusa to Constantinople via 
Dulcigno, San Sergio on the Boiana, Prizren, the plain 
of Kossovo, Uskab, Tatarbaric, Philippopolis, and 
Adrianople, which he accomplished in forty-five days. 
Trade with Italy continued to develop and expand 
on the same lines as before, and late in the fourteenth 
century direct intercourse with Florence was established. 
In 1406 the Florentine Government declared that the 
Ragusans had brought so much silver to Florence (from 
the Balkan mines) ^^ that we have almost purchased Pisa 
with it."^ In 1429 a five years* treaty between the two 
Republics was concluded, the Ragusans agreeing to bring 
gold, silver, skins, wax, and other Balkan produce to 
Florence in exchange for Italian wares.* Relations were 
maintained owing to the frequent visits of the Florentine 
ambassadors on their way to Constantinople, and many 
Florentine merchants resided in the town. Apparently 
the Pazzi family had property there, and after the famous 
conspiracy the Florentine Government desired to confis- 
cate it. In 1479 ^^ envoy was sent to Constantinople to 
obtain the extradition of one of Giuliano dei Medici's 
murderers ; he was instructed to stop at Ragusa on the 
way to get a guide who knew Turkey " persona pratica 

' Makushev, op, cii.^ 345. * Ibid,^ 440. 

• • < 



Rozsto %\^. 


%:•. % 



in Turchia."^ In 1495 wicntion is made of the appoint- 
ment of a Florentine consul and magistrate at Ragusa, 
while in 15 14 the Ragusan Lorenzo Ragni (Ragnina?) 
held office as magistrate and Councillor of Justice in 
Florence.* Various other Christian Powers made use of 
Ragusa for their relations with the Turks, and even 
Francis I. of France is said to have had recourse to a 
member of the Gozze family in his negotiations with 
the Sultan.' 

Until the fifteenth century the vessels built on the 
territory of the Republic were small and chiefly used for 
the coastwise traflic, all foreign trade being carried on 
ships purchased from other Dalmatian towns or from 
Italy. Now, however, these sources of supply were 
found to be inadequate, and in 1525 the Senate decided 
to build a new shipping yard at Gravosa. This was 
completed the following year, and was a very admirable 
and elaborate establishment for the age. At the same 
time the docks at Slano, Isola di Mezzo, and elsewhere, 
which belonged to private persons, were enlarged and 
improved. But even these measures were insufficient 
for the ever-increasing business, and more ships were 
purchased at Curzola and at Messina.^ 

The harbour and wharfing accommodation were 
enlarged. Work of this kind had been partially ac- 
complished in 1468 under the direction of the Florentine 
architect Niccoli di Pasquale;^ further improvements 

^ G. Miiller, Dacumenti salle Relassioni delle Cittd Toscane coW 
Oriente^ p. 227. 

' Makushev, p. 477. ^ I. von Diiringsfeld, Aus Dalmatien. 

* Gclcich, / Conti di Tuhelj, 68-70. 

* Ref.^ Cons. Rog,^ Oct. 23, Nov. 22, and Dec 2, 1468. 



were executed by Mastro Stazio in 1473, and in the 
following year dredging operations in the port were 
commenced. In 1475 ^^^ quays were enlarged, and 
warehouses for grain erected. The whole port was 
rebuilt on a larger scale between 1484 and 1500 by 
another Florentine, Pasquale di Michele. This same 
architect also planned the warehouses for goods coming 
from the interior. When the Republic received formal 
permission to trade with the Infidel the existing fondico 
was enlarged in 1432 and 1442. The discovery of the 
y Cape route and the intrigues of the Veneti ans caused 
a temporary stagnation of Ragusan trade, but it soon 
revived, and on June 28, 15 15, the Senate decreed "de 
providendo pro uno fontico spacioso in quo omnia 
mercimonia possint fonticari." 

Although internal industry never attained to the 
importance of the Republic's foreign commerce, it was 
at this time fairly active. Manufacturers and traders 
together constituted (in 15 14) no less than twenty-one 
guilds.^ In 1348 the merchants formed themselves into 
the Guild of St. Anthony, which in the sixteenth century 
became so large that those of its members who dealt 
exclusively with the Eastern trade seceded from it and 
formed the Guild of St. Lazarus, or " Scuola dei Mercanti 
di Levante." These two guilds comprised all the richest 
persons in the city, and came in time to constitute a 
separate privileged caste, whose members alone had the 
right to call themselves citizens, and were the inferiors 
of the nobles alone. The other lay guilds were : the 
Pentoriy painters, with 19 members; the Callegari^ or 

^ Gelcich, RagusOy 7a 


makers of leather slippers for the neighbouring Turkish 
provinces, with 1 46 members ; the Pellizzai^ or furriers, 
with 60 members; the Tessatori^ or weavers of cloth, 
founded in 1491, after one Andrea Pantella of Florence 
had introduced the industry from Italy in 141 6, and in 
15 14 it had 137 members. There were in addition many 
other guilds in other parts of the Republic's territory, 
while a number of other industries, such as the gold- 
smiths, the tanners, the shipbuilders, the dyers, &c., were 
not represented by guilds at all. 

Professor Gelcich quotes the opinions of a number 
of foreign writers on Ragusan trade in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries. The Abate Denina wrote : " The 
Ragusans were ever a nation of merchants and traffickers, 
and are well satisfied to do what the Neapolitans have 
failed to do, monopolising the export trade of the King- 
dom (of Naples), and visiting with their ships all parts 
of the Mediterranean. Luca de Linda wrote : " The 
Ragusans have put on the sea a number of large vessels 
both for war and for traffic, and on them have travelled 
as far as the New World. Among other enterprises 
they served the Githolic King with many ships but a 
short time since in the expedition against the Gerbi, 
and with forty vessels in the conquest of Portugal." 
Amalthseus in a letter to a friend advises him to settle 
at Ragusa, as there were in that city many opportunities 
of becoming rich by trade, for there was much active 
traffic with the West, and the most industrious nations 
of Europe, such as the French, the Spaniards, the 
English, the Flemings, and even the Germans had 
established colonies there. 


The above-mentioned writer, Benedetto Ramberti, 
gives a curious description of Ragusa as it appeared 
to him in 1533. Being a Venetian his account is 
somewhat contemptuous and not altogether flattering. 
"It is well populated," he writes, "and in a beautiful 
situation by the sea, on the Dalmatian mainland. It 
possesses a small harbour and a very small mole. ... It 
is exposed to winds and earthquakes, and is exceedingly 
cold in winter. The women are not very handsome, and 
dress very badly, or rather they wear clothes which suit 
them ill. They have on their heads a long linen cover- 
ing, which in the case of noblewomen is of white silk 
and shaped like a pyramid, and thin stockings turned 
down to their shins. They rarely leave the house, but 
are much at the window. The young girls are never 
seen. The women nearly all use the Slavonic language, 
but the men speak Italian as well.^ In the city are 
many fountains of excellent water brought from the 
hills. About a mile from the gates is a spot called 
Gravosa, which is a row of houses a mile in length, 
well built and attractive, with gardens full of oranges, 
lemons, citrons, and fruit-trees of various kinds, beauti- 
fully adorned with fountains fed by aqueducts. . . . The 
sea here forms a pleasant harbour large enough to con- 
tain a hundred galleys with ease. The Ragusans are 
usually rich and avaricious, like most merchant folk. 
They all buy wine in retail, and timber according to 
certain ordinances of their own. Friends and relations 
seldom if ever dine together. They think only of 

^ This is the case at Ragusa to this day. In other Dalmatian towns, 
where the men are bilingual, the women often speak only Italian. 


making money, and they are so proud that they think 
there is no other nobility than their own/ but I do not 
say that of all, for I have known some who were very 
urbane and courteous. And they deserve, indeed, much 
praise, for being placed in a most narrow and rocky 
situation they have obtained access to every commodity 
by means of their own virtue and industry alone, in 
despite of nature. . . . They pay tribute to the Sultan, 
to whom they send orators (ambassadors) every year with ^• 
12,000 ducats. The city is not very strong, especially on 
the land side towards the mountains, and as it is not well 
provided with walls and fosses it could be defeated.' 


* This characteristic is alluded to by Pouqueville (Voyage de la 
Grhe\ who wrote 250 years later (see infra^ chap. xii.). 

^ This last statement is probably an instance of the wish being father 
to the thought, for there is no doubt that in the sixteenth century Ragusa 
was a first-class fortress, almost impregnable for those times. But 
Rambuti, being a Venetian, hoped to see the city one day fall under the 
power of the Lion of St. Mark. 



( 1 526-1667) 

THE period between the establishment of the Turks 
in Bosnia and the fall of the Venetian Republic is 
one of great interest for the whole of Dalmatia. 
"In these events," writes an anonymous author in the 
Annuario Dalmatico^ "every village has its part, almost 
every family its glorious record. And if on the one hand 
we still find the traces, I may almost say the smoking ruins, 
of the desolation wrought upon us by the Turkish armies ; 
on the other we find many memories of the valour of 
the Dalmatians in the trophies of the families, in the 
rank of nobility obtained as a reward for incredible 
sacrifices, in the letters of commendation, even in certain 
religious festivals, and in a large part of those customs 
which time has rendered sacred to the heart of our 
people, and most of us observe scrupulously, without 
perhaps understanding their meaning." 

At the same time Turks and Christians through 
familiarity became less hostile, and did much business 
together. " Once the massacre was over the Turks spent 
much money, and thus after Castelnuovo had been 
captured, plundered, and 4000 Christians murdered, it 

^ I., 1884, pp. 131 sqq. 


became a source of great wealth to the Ragusans and to 
the people of Perasto. That is the reason why so many 
Jews from Spain settled on the Turkish shores of the 
Adriatic, especially at Castelnuovo. . . . Turkish customs ( 
spread among the Dalmatians, even as regards their [ 
clothes and their jewels and their harems. Stolivo and 
the Catena (Bocche di Cattaro) were regular slave marts ; 
women led a retired life like those of the East." Ragusa 
was especially affected by Turkish influence, owing to 
her semi-dependent position and her close intercourse 
with her powerful neighbour, and this led to many 
complications with Venice and other Christian States. 

The first yeirs after the cessation of the Hungarian 
protectorate were again disturbed by a quarrel with the 
Venetians. Some of the grain ships bringing foodstuffs 
to Ragusa were captured by Venetian cruisers in the 
Adriatic, as the Government of the great Republic ac- 
cused its small but enterprising rival of playing a double 
game. The Ragusans, wishing to retaliate, thought 
that they could not do better than by tampering with the 
Venetian despatches. The Senate did not exactly author- 
ise these proceedings, but the Archbishop Trivulzio, a 
Milanese,^ who was very friendly to France and therefore 
hostile to Venice and Spain, had the messenger carrying 
letters to the Venetian Provveditore at Cattaro seized. 
The papers, which contained the announcement of an 
alliance against the Sultan, were at once forwarded to 
the French ambassador at Constantinople.* The Vene- 

^ The Archbishopric of Ragusa was usually conferred on an Italian 
by the Pope, while the canons of the Cathedral were Ragusan nobles. 
* France was at this time (1538) allied to the Turks. 


tians were furious, and threatened vengeance on the 
Ragusans, in spite of the Senate's protestations that the 
Archbishop had acted entirely on his own responsibility. 
They were partially appeased by the arrest and punish- 
ment of one Pozza, who had actually executed the 
Archbishop's orders, but Venetian ships continued to 
harry the Ragusan coast for some time, inflicting much 
damage.^ This same year (1538) the Pope Paul III., as 
head of the Christian League against the Turks, issued a 
decree, probably inspired by the Venetians, hostile to the 
Ragusans, forbidding all Christians to sell them arms, 
gunpowder, cables, ship-timber, iron, &c., because they 
were supposed to sell these articles to the Turks. He 
also ordered the Republic to shake off all allegiance to 
the Sultan, to cease to pay him tribute, and to join the 
League against the Infidel at once, contributing five 
galleys and 10,000 ducats to the common war chest. 
The citizens were filled with consternation at these 
peremptory commands, but the Senate sent one of its 
cleverest diplomatists, Clemente Ragnina, to Rome, and 
he proved equal to the emergency. Ragusa, he in- 
formed His Holiness, was situated between the Turks 
and the sea, and would, if she joined the League, be the 
first to fall a victim to the wrath of the Infidel. Owing, 
moreover, to the small extent of her territory, she was 
dependent for three-quarters of the year on foreign 
grain, which came mostly from the Turkish provinces ; 
she could not, therefore, exist without intercourse with 
her neighbours. The only result of Ragusa's joining 
the alliance would be the destruction of the city, with 

^ Razzi, Engel. 


her churches, her convents and monasteries, and all her 
precious sacred relics would fall into the hands of the 
Infidel, without any advantage accruing to Christendom 
thereby. The astute Ragnina hinted that the Venetians 
were merely urging the Pope to take measures against 
Ragusa out of jealousy. These arguments had the de- 
sired effect, the Pope relenting towards the Republic and 
exempting it from joining the League, to the great satis- 
faction both of the Government and the citizens. There 
is no doubt that their position was always a very risky 
one, and it required all their diplomatic tact to save them 
from ruin. They were literally between the devil and the 
deep sea, but they always managed to steer a clear course 
between the many dangers which beset them. 

But although they were on good terms with the 
Sultan, there was also danger to be apprehended from 
the turbulent Pashas and Sandjakbegs of Bosnia and the 
Herzegovina. Many of these men were the descendants 
of the lawless native princelings who had gone over to 
Islam, and still maintained their old ambition to win 
their way to the seaboard. The whole country of 
Dalmatia was now threatened. Clissa, Poljica, and even 
Montenegro had to pay tribute to the Turks after 15 15. 
In 1522 Knin, the chief Croat fortress in the country, 
surrendered to the Pasha of Bosnia, and Scardona was 
also occupied. Sinj, Vrlika, Nu^k, and Clissa fell in 
1536, and the castles of Vrana and Nadin in 1538. The 
Turkish fortress of Castelnuovo was captured by the 
Venetians and Spaniards in that year, but in 1539 it 
was attacked by the pirate Haireddin Barbarossa and 
recaptured, the Spanish garrison being put to the sword. 


It is said that some Ragusan vessels took part in the 
siege, thus contributing to the success of the Turks, and 
that the Republic sent presents to Barbarossa so as to 
induce him to respect their territory. There now re- 
mained no part of Dalmatia under a Christian Government 
except the Venetian coast towns and the Ragusan State. 
On the whole, the Republic found the Turks in some ways 
less objectionable neighbours than the Christian Powers, 
especially the Venetians. In 1538 the allied fleet under 
the command of Grimani, the Venetian Patriarch, sailed 
down the Adriatic and touched at the Isola di Mezzo; 
a part of the squadron proceeded to Ragusavecchia, where 
it was received with great honour by the citizens, but 
some vessels remained at the island and sacked it, took 
170 prisoners, including the Count, and did much 
damage to property. The Ragusan Senate protested to 
the Patriarch, who had all the prisoners liberated, the 
stolen property restored, and compensation paid. A 
certain number of Ragusans were detained as rowers, but 
at good salaries, and thirteen Ragusan ships were pressed 
into the Spanish service. The fleet then sailed south- 
wards, and encountered the Turks off Prevesa ; the en- 
gagement proved undecisive, but the honours of the day 
remained with the Turks. It was then proposed to at- 
tack Castelnuovo. The Venetian and Pontifical admirals 
objected, and suggested that Ragusa should be attacked 
instead, as she had shown herself so friendly to the enemy. 
But Doria, the Genoese admiral, and Don Ferrante 
Gonzaga refused to make war on a Christian city, and 
the Castelnuovo plan was adhered to. Thirteen thou- 
sand troops and 22 guns were disembarked, and an 


assault delivered by land and sea. The walls were soon 
battered down, and the town captured, the Sandjak- 
beg escaping with 200 horse. One hundred Ragusans 
fell in the attack. The Republic sent envoys to the 
Christian force with provisions, and requested the leaders 
not to invade Ragusan territory. This was promised, 
but nevertheless a Spanish column which was raiding the 
country round Castelnuovo also sacked Canali, carrying 
off 17,000 head of cattle, outraging many women, "and 
generally behaving worse than the Turks." The Re- 
public protested against these proceedings, and Doria, with 
whom it was on friendly terms, sent the engineer Mastro 
Antonio Ferramolino of Bergamo to Ragusa to strengthen 
the fortifications of the town. Under his supervision the 
Torre Menze or Minceta, the bastion outside the walls 
under the Monte Bergato to guard the harbour, and the 
town gate close by were built. On the latter the follow- 
ing inscription was placed : 

'* Este procul sseri : nullum haec per ssecula Martem 
Castra timent sancti, quse fovet aura senis." 

Ferramolino remained four months at Ragusa, and 
refused all payment for his services ; but the Senate pre- 
sented him on his departure with a gift of plate and a fine 
horse, and conveyed him to Sicily on a Ragusan galley.^ 

The following year Barbarossa determined to recap- 
ture Castelnuovo, which was defended by 4000 picked 
Spanish troops and 54 guns. A first attempt from the 
land side in January failed ; but in July Barbarossa en- 
tered the Bocche with 200 galleys, and after a series of 

^ Razzi, lib. ii. cap. xiv. 




engagements succeeded in landing an army and 84 guns. 
The Ragusans sent envoys to him with presents, and, it 
is said, ships and ammunition, in recognition of which he 
strictly respected the Republic's territory. On August 7 
an assault was delivered, and the first line of defence 
broken; on the loth a second took place, and the 
Governor, Don Francisco Sarmiento, surrendered with 
his few survivors. According to Razzi ^ they were all 
put to the sword; but Professor Stanley Lane Poole 
says that the capitulation was honourably respected. 
Three thousand Spaniards fell in the siege and 8000 
Turks (50,000, according to Razzi). 

Ragusan trade was now in a somewhat depressed 
condition owing to these various disturbances. Many 
Ragusan ships in the Spanish service had been lost in 
the expedition to Algiers,* and the pirates under Dragut 
Reis wrought much havoc among their ships elsewhere. 
While the Emperor Ferdinand was invading the Hun- 
garian provinces occupied by the Turks, the Ragusan 
factories there suffered considerably ; and the land trade 
was disturbed by the depredations of the Sandjakbeg of 
the Herzegovina. In 1 544 the bankruptcies at Ragusa 
amounted to 80,000 ducats.* In 1^4^ peace w as made 
between the Sultan and the Ch ristian Powers, and th e 
former issued severe injunctions to the Aleerine corsairs 
not to molest ships flyin g th e Ragusan flag. Inthespnie- 
what quieter period w hich followed there was a partial 

^ Razzi, lib. ii. cap. xv. 

* The Barbctry Corsairs^ p. 105. 

' According to Engel (§ 45), out of 13 Ragusan vessels 7 were lost, 
and at I sola di Mezzo alone there were 300 widows. 

* Razzi, ii. xvii. 


revi val of the city's trade, whic h now extended to America i v 
by means of the favour of Spain. But in 1566 Suleiman 1 
the Magnificent died, and his successor, Selim the Drunk- 
ard, at once began to cast covetous eyes on Cyprus, insti- 
gated, it is said, by a Jew named Nassi, who had given 
him a glowing description of the Cyprian vintages.^ War 
between the Turks and the Christian Powers was again 
imminent, and Ragusa began to fear that she might get 
into difficulties with either of the belligerents. She 
therefore applied to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, with 
whom she was then on excellent terms,* and he recom- 
mended them to the King of Spain on the plea that 
if their trade failed so would the greater part of their 
income cease, and they would be unable to pay the 
tribute to the Sultan. The latter would seize on this as 
a pretext for occupying the city, to the great detriment 
of Christendom.^ The plea was successful, and, more- 
over, the same year Pius V. renewed the exemption to 
trade with the Infidel, because the city " in faucis infi- 
delium et loco admodum periculoso sita est."' Ragusa • 
now acted once more as intermediary between Christian 
and Turk, and obtained the liberation of many Venetians 
and Dalmatian prisoners captured by the Turkish pirate 
Ali-el-Uluj, or Occhiali as the Christians called him.* In 
spite of the citizens' not altogether undeserved reputation 
for double-dealing, they were also true to their better 

* Horatio Brown, Venice^ p. 364. 

' Lorenzo Miniati was then Tuscan consul at Ragusa, and was en- 
trusted with the duty of informing his Government of all the rumours as 
to the movements of the Turks which he might hear ; Makushev, op. cii,^ 
p. 495. • Ibid,^ 501, 1566. 

* Engel, § 45. 


reputation for hospitality. Their hospitality towards the 
Papal admiral Marc* Antonio Colonna and the Venetian 
general Sforza Pallavicini, who were shipwrecked on the 
Ragusan coast in 1570, won them the gratitude of the 
Pope and of Venice.^ Francesco Tron, who was pur- 
sued by Turkish corsairs, took refuge in the harbour of 
Gravosa, and in spite of the threats of the pirate com- 
mander the Senate refused to give him up. Finally they 
bought off the cousin with a sum of money, but he sacked 
the monastery of Lacroma. Complaints were sent to Con- 
stantinople, and the Sultan delivered up the pirate Kara- 
kosia to the Ragusan Government to do what it pleased 
with him ; but it was deemed best to set him at liberty 
with a warning. It was justified in its clemency, for in 
future none of his ships ever harmed a Ragusan. Vene- 
tian intrigues again threatened the Republic*s indepen- 
dence, and during the negotiations for a new Christian 
League it required all the diplomatic skill and eloquence 
of Francesco Gondola, the Ragusan ambassador in 
Rome, to save the city from destruction. In a despatch 
to the Senate, dated April i, 1570, he wrote as 
follows : — 

" This war gives food for reflection to the thought- 
ful, especially with regard to the State of Ragusa, con- 
sidering the capital malignity of the Venetians against 
us; it is recorded and confirmed that at the war of 
Castelnuovo in 1539 they tried to induce Andrea Doria, 
general of the Emperor (Charles V.), to capture Ragusa 
before aught else ; and they were so keen on this pro- 
posal, that they only gave way when Doria opposed an 

^ Razzi, iii. xx. 


absolute refusal. He informed them that the Emperor 
had expressely recommended the said Republic to him, 
and enjoined him to protect it and guard it in the same 
manner as the cities of his own kingdom of Naples. . . . 
Upon these words the Venetians abandoned their project ; 
but it is believed that our country may suffer much, and 
that this war will not end without many tribulations.** 
On April 8 he added : ** The Emperor*s ambassador in 
Rome has been informed from Venice that the Senate 
has determined to place a garrison in Ragusa, so that the 
Turks may not occupy the city ; and that if the Republic 
refuses to admit it, they have decided to seize it by force, 
which means that they wish to capture the town with 
the excuse of preventing the Turks from doing so, in 
order that Christendom may not be shocked (* perche la 
Christianity non strilli *).** The Spanish and Imperial 
ambassadors took the side of the Ragusans, and the Pope 
also favoured them, the Venetian representative alone 
declaring that *' it was right that the League should not 
only burn the city of Ragusa, but raze it to the ground 
and destroy its people, so that their seed should not be 
found anywhere.** 

On June 27 he wrote as follows : — 

" I have been to His Holiness, who had requested 
that your Lordships should provide him not with one 
ship, a3 Cardinal Rusticucci had said, but with many, so 
that he may transport his troops on them. I replied that 
on the previous evening Cardinal Rusticucci had spoken 
to me in his name, and added that I had written to your 
Lordships . . . and that you hoped that as His Holi- 
ness had liberated you from so many troubles in the 


past, he would take care that you are preserved, nor will 
he permit that his many benefits to you be turned to 
your ruin. I informed him how, after the Maltese war, 
Piali had come with his fleet to Ragusa and threatened 
your Lordships because some of your vessels had been with 
the Spanish fleet, and swore that if a similar offence were 
again committed he would come to your destruction." 
The Pope was convinced by these arguments and with- 
drew his demand for a Ragusan contingent, and made 
the other allied Powers realise the Republic*s danger. 
Venice alone remained obdurate, and continued to repeat 
" ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam." She be- 
lieved that the only way of saving Ragusa from all danger 
on the part of the Turks was to occupy the town herself. 
On June 2 8 Gondola suggested that the Senate should 
send an ambassador to the King of Spain requesting 
him, in memory of their ancient fidelity to his pre- 
decessors, to place the Republic officially under his own 
protection, because although the Pope was friendly, he 
was old and in bad health, and if he were to die the 
Venetians might seize the opportunity to molest the 
city. This advice was followed, and in the treaty of 
alliance the little Republic received the joint protection 
of Christendom, a clause being inserted in it to the effect 
that " no acts of hostility are to be committed against 
Ragusa and its territory, the Pope for weighty reasons 
having so decreed." Thus by her successful diplomacy 
Ragusa was under the aegis of seven different Powers — 
Spain, the Papacy, the Empire, Venice, Hungary, the 
Turks, and the Barbary Deys — whence its citizens earned 
the sobriquet of " Le Sette Bandiere " (the Seven Stan- 



dards); and although subsequently they often were in 
difficulties with some of their protectors, they could 
always play the one off against the other. This was the 
secret of their long-continued independence. 

Although the Republic remained officially neutral in 
the war of Lepanto, numbers of Ragusan merchants and 
adventurers took advantage of it to make their own 
fortunes, many of them obtaining contracts for trans- 
porting troops, or hiring out their ships and crews. 
During the early part of the war Ragusan shipping suf- 
fered some damage, being plundered now by the Turks 
and now by the Christians, in spite of the treaty of pro- 
tection; and as it was even feared that the city itself 
might be in danger, it was decided to strengthen the forti- 
fications. An addition had been made to them in 1550- 
1558, when the large Forte San Giovanni was built; 
while the port was enlarged and improved with a new 
pier called the Diga delle Casse, constructed under the 
superintendence of Pasquale da Nola. In 1570 the 
Tower of Santa Margherita was begun by Sigismondo 
Hier ; ^ and soon after Saporoso Matteucci, one of Piero 
Strozzi's ablest pupils, was appointed commander of the 
garrison and director of fortifications. Santa Margherita 
was the last building erected from the foundations; 
subsequent additions were merely restorations, and the 
defences of the city have remained practically unaltered 
since that time.* 

The following year the battle of Lepanto was fought, 
in which the Turkish fleet was completely defeated. 

* Min, Cons., June 5, 1570 ; Polizze Off. 5 Ragioni, Feb. 30^ 1570. 

' Gelcich, pp. 84 and 87. 



/ From this moment the decline of the Ottoman power 
may be said to begin. It is asserted that Ragusan 
galleys were found on both sides in this fight. After- 
wards the city became the meeting-place for the Christian 
and Turkish commanders to arrange for the exchange 
of prisoners and the preliminaries of peace. Numbers 
of illustrious foreigners from all countries filled the 
town, and according to Appendini, sixty noble Christian 
captives were exchanged for an equal number of Turkish 
oflicers. But the Republic's equivocal attitude during 
the war caused trouble with the Sandjakbeg of the 
Herzegovina, who in 1572 made various raids into the 
territory, laying waste some districts and carrying oflF 
many captives. Turkish pirates landed at Meleda and 
massacred all the monks, save those who took refuge in 
the caves.^ At last, in 1573, a general peace was con- 
cluded, much to the disgust of the Venetians, who saw 
that in spite of the victory over the Turks it was not 
properly followed up, and the enemy was allowed to re- 
cuperate. Ragusa, however, was delighted, for the peace 
removed her dangers from both quarters. But even this 
spell of quiet was destined to be short-lived, and now 
began a series of calamities culminating in jthe great 
V earthqua ke of 1667, which brought about the gradual 

i declin e of the Republic. 

The Reformation had some slight efiFect at Ragusa 
about this time, and during the archbishopric of Criso- 
stomo Calvino (the name is a curious coincidence) some 

1 The Benedictine monastery, which still exists, is built on an island 
in a salt lake, or rather inlet, communicating with the open sea by a 
narrow channel. 


preachers were permitted to censure the loose morals of 
the clergy and even advocate changes in the statutes of 
the Church. But the movement was short-lived, and the 
Senate had the books of the Ragusan Matteo Flacco 
(born in 1520), who was suspected of heresy, burnt by 
the public executioner. After the death of Crisostomo 
in 1575 the Jesuits, who had made their first appearance 
in 1559 as missionaries, established themselves perma- 
.nently and set up a college and a church. Thus all 
traces of Protestantism were stamped out. ! 

A new disturbance was now caused by the Uskoks, 
a gang of Christian pirates. Originally these men were 
refugees from the lands occupied by the Turks. Many, 
as we have seen, settled at Ragusa and in other Dalmatian 
towns ; but wherever they were they revenged themselves 
on the usurpers by raiding their territory, plundering 
their caravans, and keeping up a constant guerilla warfare 
on the frontiers. Clissa became their chief stronghold, 
whence they conducted operations against the Infidel ; 
but when, in 1537, the Turks besieged and captured it, 
the Uskoks were forced to fly once more. The Emperor 
Ferdinand gave them a refuge at Segna (Zengg) in the 
Quarnero, a town protected on the land side by impas- 
sable mountains and forests. From Segna they continued 
their raids into Turkish territory, and also began opera- 
tions by sea. The place soon became a refuge for 
outlaws of all nations, and the Uskoks ended by be- 
coming as notorious pirates as the Narentans had been 
of old. They were always a trouble to the Ragusans, 
sometimes because they captured their galleys, and some- 
times because by attacking the Turks they involved the 


Republic in difficulties with the Porte, who accused it of 
protecting the freebooters because they were Christians. 
In 1577 numbers of them were sdll hanging about in the 
Dalmatian mountains, and made raids as far as Trebinje, 
while others from Segna harried Turkish merchant- 
men. They professed to regard the Ragusans as vassals 
of the Sultan, and plundered their ships too ; but the 
latter were able to give as hard knocks as they received, 
and in one encounter killed one of the Uskok leaders. 
Peace was restored through the mediation of Austria 
under whose protection the Uskoks were. But the 
Turks persisted in regarding the Ragusans as the accom- 
plices of the pirates, and again the Sandjakbeg threatened 
to lay waste their territory. On the land side the 
Republic was vulnerable, while on the sea her shipping 
had suffered heavily in the Spanish wars. The incident 
ended in the Ragusans bribing the enemy into a more 
reasonable attitude. 

In 1602 the inhabitants of the island of Lagosta 
revolted against Ragusan authority, because they com- 
plained that their ancient liberties guaranteed to them in 
the act of submission had been violated. The Ragusan 
count was driven out, and the islanders raised the banner 
of St. Mark and asked to be placed under Venetian 
protection. This was accorded, and a Venetian garrison 
landed on the island. Long negotiations ensued, and 
at last Lagosta was given back to Ragusa, but on very 
onerous conditions.^ 

In 1 617-18 Ragusa was involved in the quarrels 
between Venice and Spain, which culminated in the 

^ Romanin, Storia DocumenteUa di Venesia^ vol. viii., Appendix. 


famous Spanish conspiracy. The Venetians had been 
carrying on operations against the Uskolcs since the end 
of the sixteenth century. The Provveditore Tiepolo 
took and destroyed Scrissa (on the site of the modern 
Gu'lopago) and hanged all the garrison. On his death 
he was succeeded in the command by Bembo, who, with 
a fleet of fifteen galleys and thirty long barques, manned 
by Scx) soldiers, blockaded Trieste and Fiume, so as to 
bring pressure to bear on the Archduke of Austria. He 
also shut up 700 Uskoks in the harbour of Rogoznica. 
But on a stormy night they managed to escape, and 
Bembo, weary and disgusted, resigned his commission. 
His successor, Giustiniani, did some damage to the 
freebooters, and negotiations between Venice and Austria 
were commenced with a view to putting an end to their 
depredations. But nothing came of the discussions, and 
the Uskoks' sack of Trebinje nearly involved Venice as 
well as Ragusa in a new Turkish war. In 16 14 the 
Uskoks waylaid the Venetian Cristoforo Venier on his 
ship at Pago, murdered the officers and crew, and 
carried Venier himself to Segna, where they cut off^ his 
head and banqueted with it on the table, dipping their 
bread in his blood. Austria did nothing, and the 
pirates made fresh raids into Istria and the Venetian 
islands. The Venetians bombarded and captured Novi, 
and war broke out with Austria, which lasted until the 
Peace of Madrid in 16 17. By this treaty Venice, 
Austria, and Spain bound themselves to remove the 
Uskoks to the interior of Croatia. A Venetian squadron 
sailed down the Adriatic, and with the pretext of cap- 
turing the Uskok galleys, anchored in the harbour of 


Gravosa, and blockaded Ragusa itself, which was de- 
fended by Marino Vodopid with a small body of 
Hungarian mercenaries. The Duke of Ossuna, the 
Spanish Viceroy of Naples, undertook the protection of 
Spain's old ally, and sent a squadron up the Adriatic 
with the object of attacking Venice and co-operating in 
the Bedmar conspiracy. The plot was discovered and 
the fleet failed in its main object, but it succeeded in 
forcing the Venetians to abandon Gravosa. This, how- 
ever, caused the Turks to accuse the Ragusans of 
having allied themselves with Spain to the detriment of 
the Ottoman Empire. At the same time certain per- 
sons whispered accusations of double-dealing against the 
Ragusans in the Spanish court itself. Venice nursed a 
resentment against the Ragusans for having been on 
good terms with Spain at the time of the conspiracy, 
and indulged in a " policy of pin-pricks *' towards the 
little Republic. The latter also suffered annoyances 
from the Pashas of Bosnia, who were always imposing 
extortionate duties on Ragusan goods, and arresting 
Ragusan merchants as they passed through the country. 
These turbulent viceroys had to be pacified with presents 
and heavy bribes. When in 1647 the war of Gmdia 
broke out between the Venetians and the Turks, Ragusa 
feared th^t she too would be involved in the conflict, 
and appealed to the Pope for protection. But this time 
she succeeded in maintaining a neutral attitude without 
being molested, the Sultan's plan for concentrating his 
troops at Ragusa for an invasion of Dalmatia having been 
luckily abandoned. 
V During the quieter period jifter 1631 the Ragusans 


turned their attention once mp^ e to the development of 
their commerce , but they discovered that the conditions 
were entirely changed ifrom what they were a hundred, or 
even fifty, years previously. The w hole of the Atlantic 
and East Indian trade was divided between the English 
anH the 0utch^ and such of the Mediterranean trade as 

was not also in their hands was in those of the Venetians. 
The Ragusan merchant navy had been for . t b.e . moat . part | 
lost in the service of Spain or captured by j)irates^ and 
a large proportion o f their seamen killed in battle or^ / 
drowned . Their shipping was therefore re duced to little 
more than a few coas ting vessels, a nd the Repu blic's only 
resourc e was no w the land trade with Bosnia and the 
Herzegovina. But that too was less brisk than it used 
to be, as the general trade of the Balkans was tending | 
more and m ore to follow _the Budapest, Belgrad, and 1 
bofla highway to Constantinople instead of the Adriatic 
routes. Decade nce wa s s etting i n throughout Dalmatia, 
and the halcyon days of the Republic of Ragusa had , 
passed away. The Italian trade now consisted of little 
more than the transport of grain necessary for the feed- 
ing of the inhabitants, and the Italian colony was very 
small. Few families from Italy, or even from other 
parts of Dalmatia and the Herzegovina, came to settle at 
Ragusa as heretofore. The old families were declining 
in wealth and activity, while a few newer ones from the 
neighbourhood monopolised the little trade that sur- 
vived. On the other hand, luxury increased, public and 
private festivities became more frequent and more 
magnificent, so as to hide the symptoms of decadence, 
and the old accumulations of wealth were gradually 


squandered away. The old social distinctions, however, 
were kept up with even greater strictness, and the here- 
ditary nobility continued to remain absolutely separate 
from all meaner mortals. The arts, too, languished, 
and no more fine buildings arose. The decline of 
Ragusa bears a striking similarity to that of Venice. 

In 1667 a calamity befell the city which for a brief 
space made the name of Ragusa ring throughout the 
civilised world. As I have said, the citizens had had a 
foretaste of it in the small earthquake shocks which from 
time to time occurred ; the most formidable of them 
had been that of 1520. But the worst was now to come. 
On Wednesday, April 6, 1667, in the early morning, 
when most of the inhabitants had either just risen or 
were attending early Mass in the churches, " there came 
from below ground a horrible and dreadful earthquake, 
which in a few moments destroyed the Rector^s Palace, 
the Rector himself (Ghetaldi) being killed, and all the 
other palaces, churches, monasteries, and houses in the 
city, everything being subverted, and there was much 
loss of life ; the havoc was increased by the huge rocks 
which fell from the mountains ; thus the city became a 
heap of stones. At the same time, a wind having arisen, 
misfortune was heaped upon misfortune, and flames 
burst forth naturally from the timber fallen from the 
ruins into the kitchen fires ; the fire lasted several days, 
causing much suffering to the few survivors of this 
horrible disaster. These are not more than 600, be- 
sides 25 nobles, and it was a sad sight to see these 
people, most of them injured, wandering about almost 
beside themselves with despair in the ruined streets. 



imploring pity and pardon from the Lord God for their 
sins. Moreover, the Castle rock was seen to burst open 
and close again twice, and the waters of the sea sank 
back four times. Even the wells dried up completely. 
The land fort remained untouched, the sea fort, the 
dogana (custom house), and the lazaret were partially 
damaged, but can be repaired in a short time. Many, 
moved by compassion at hearing the lamentable cries of 
those buried among the ruins, struggled to remove the 
rubbish of stones and timber with which they were 
covered, and found some still alive, although they had 
been three, four, and even five days in that terrible 
condition." ^ 

Another misfortune was added to these by the de- 
predations of the neighbouring peasants and Morlachs 
who came pouring into the town, and it is said that 
even some of the citizens took part in the plunder, 
profiting by the wild confusion. According to Professor 
Gelcich, the fire was caused by incendiaries with the same 
purpose.* A large part of the Cathedral treasury was 
looted, and many of the sacred relics disappeared, 
although some of them were subsequently recovered. 
That the plundering was not more general was due to 
the eflForts of two patriotic nobles, Biagio Caboga and 
Michele Bosdari, who armed bodies of their own peas- 
antry and retainers, and kept watch over the ruined 
churches and public buildings. There was a regular 
battle between a few nobles and their suites and a horde 

1 Relatione delP Orribile Terretnoto seguito nella Citid di Ragusa^ 
&* altre della Dalmatta ^ Albania^ Venice, 1667. 
' Gelcich, 97. 


of freebooters for the possession of the treasury. The 
latter were finally beaten ofF, and the State cofFers and 
archives saved. The relics and the remains of the 
Cathedral treasure were removed to a chapel in the 
Dominican monastery, which was bricked up, only a 
barred window being left open so that the people might 
assure themselves of their existence and worship them.^ 
The State treasure was removed to the Leverone fort, 
where the surviving nobles gathered together and con- 
stituted a provisional Government of twelve Senators. 
The situation appeared hopeless. " The city," wrote 
the Abate Bosdari, '*was so completely buried in the 
stones and rubbish of the ruined houses that every one 
gave up all idea of ever making it habitable again. The 
stench from the burnt or decaying corpses was so over- 
powering that it caused many people to suffer from 
nausea ; and no one dared venture to the spot where he 
had lost his property, his relatives, and almost his own 
life, especially as other slight earthquake shocks were felt 
from time to time. Wherefore many of the most influ- 
ential personages declared it to be necessary to change 
the site of the town, and they proposed that of Lapad as 
being the most convenient. This opinion was supported 
by the attractiveness of the position, its proximity to a 
harbour capable of sheltering many fleets, and the pure 
and more open air, and it would obviate the necessity of 
spending large sums in removing the rubbish." * 

Ragusa was not alone in her calamity ; many places in 
the immediate neighbourhood had sufl^ered considerably. 

* A*<7^., 1667, June 23, and Dvu, 171 1, f. 58, dd. Feb. 3. 

' Quoted by Gelcich, 98. 


The houses and churches of the Isola di Mezzo were all 
in ruins, as may be seen to this day, and many of the 
inhabitants were killed.^ Stagno too was much damaged, 
and in the rest of Dalmatia the earthquake was equally 
severe. At Cattaro, according to Professor Gelcich, the 
ruin was even more widespread than at Ragusa itself. 

In the meanwhile th ^ news of this disaster had spread 
all over Europe, and help began to a rrive frqm^ various 
quarters. The Empire, F rance, Spain, and several of 
the Italian States sent contrib utions in mpnty^ building 
materials, and men to help clear away the ruins. Th^ 
Pope was the first in the field, and sent a body of troops 
to maintain order, and Giulio Cerruti, the engineer of 
Castel Sant* Angelo. The latter was sent to report on 
the advisability of transferring the population and the 
scat of the Government to Gravosa, but although he de- 
clared that that spot was very suitable, the majority of the 
survivors were still too much attached to their old home, 
ruined as it was, to desire to settle elsewhere. The pro- 
posal was dropped, and in fact, when the citizens came to 
take stock of the situation, they found that things were not 
quite so hopeless as they had at first appeared. Some five 
thousand people had been killed, but there must have been 
more survivors than the 625 mentioned by the anonymous 
author of the Relatione^ if we accept Razzi's estimate. of 
the population at 30,000 in 1578. It may have decreased 
to some extent during the ensuing ninety years, but even 

1 /^r? 

■ • y. 

^ The population of the island before the earthquake is said to have 
been 14,000, but this is probably an exaggerated estimate. It now barely 
supports 500. 

» Gelcich, 98. 


in 1667 it must have been much more than 5600.^ The 
damage done to the buildings was less than might have 
been expected. It is true that the Venetian Provveditore 
of Cattaro, who happened to be at Gravosa at the time, 
wrote that "with the exception of the public granary, 
the dogana, the fortifications, and the lazarets, all the 
buildings, both public and private, including the Palace, 
the churches, and the monasteries, were ruined and 
destroyed** ; while Vitale Andriasci stated that "nothing 
of the city remained standing but the fortresses and the 
circuit of the walls, which were injured in many places, 
and a few dismantled houses/* But these writers were 
probably excited by the awful spectacle and fell into exag- 
geration. The Duomo was so greatly damaged that it was 
necessary to rebuild it from the foundations. The upper 
story of the Rcctor*s Palace was severely, but not hope- 
lessly, injured. The church of San Biagio suffered con- 
siderably, but survived until destroyed by fire forty years 
later. The Dominican and Franciscan monasteries, in- 
cluding their towers, remained almost intact ; while the 
Sponza, the clock-tower, the churches of St. Nicholas, 
the Ascension, St. Luke, the Saviour, the Annunciation, 
the granaries, the lazarets, &c., were in no worse condition. 
Of the private dwellings, those in the Stradone all fell 
down, and were rebuilt later ; but many of those on the 
slopes of the Monte Sergio survived, as is proved by the 

^ Among the killed was George Crook, the Dutch ambassador to the 
Porte, and his family and four servants, who had arrived at Ragusa four 
days before the earthquake on their way to Constantinople ; the rest of 
his suite, including Jakob Vandam, Dutch consul at Smyrna, were saved. 
Vandam wrote an account of this calamity in his Old and New State of 


numbers of fragments of Venetian Gothic which may be 
seen to this day. The general aspect of Ragusa is thus 
fortunately still what it was before the calamity. 

The work of rebuilding the city on its ancient site 
was at once commenced, and the damages repaired. 
The Republic survived the earthquake for nearly 150 
years more, and although it was not the Ragusa of the 
sixteenth century, it enjoyed intervals of revived pros- 
perity, and even of political importance, from time to 
time. But the days for city-republics were gone for 
ever, and the esdstence of Ragusa during the eighteenth 
century can only be regarded as a relic of the past. 





THE great Spanish Empire of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries ofFered a wide field of 
maritime activity to the more enterprising 
spirits of Ragusa, of which they were not slow to avail 
themselves. The Dalmatians of other towns were under 
Venetian rule, and therefore precluded to a great extent 
from these expeditions; but the Ragusans, although 
their Government from time to time issued decrees 
forbidding them to serve under foreign flags, so as to 
avoid international complications, continued to do so, 
the prohibition being more honoured in the breach than 
in the observance. Throughout the seventeenth century 
we find Ragusan ships, manned by Ragusan officers and 
crews, taking part in all the Spanish naval expeditions. 
These active adventurers, whether serving in the war fleets 
of Spain or on board its merchant ships, usually succeeded 
in accumulating large fortunes; some of them came 
back to Ragusa to enjoy them, while others remained in 
Spain and rose to high positions at the court of His 
Catholic Majesty. But even these did not forget the 
land of their fathers, and utilised their influence in the 
Spanish king's councils for its advantage, by obtaining 
favourable commercial treaties and valuable protection, 



which stood it in good stead in times of danger. On 
the other hand, the heavy loss es endured _in the many 
unsuccessful enter prises of Spain were a severe drain on 

Ragusa's reaourq^s, and ended \)y ruining he^ Qommerce, .. 

There were a whole series of merchant-adventurers, 
whose wandering, seafaring lives form a picturesque 
chapter in the history of Ragusa. One of the most 
remarkable of them was Michele Prazzatto, a native of 
the Isola di Mezzo. Like most of his fellow-islanders, 
he devoted himself at an early age to commerce ; but his 
first two ventures failed, and his ships foundered. He 
was thinking of giving up trade in desjMiir, " but a lizard 
that he saw trying to climb up a wall taught him the 
lesson of Robert Bruce's spider. Like the lizard, having 
failed twice, he succeeded in a third venture, and rose 
rapidly to wealth.**^ He served Charles V. with his 
galleys, and brought large cargoes of grain to Spain in 
a time of famine. The Emperor appreciated his services, \ 
and treated him with friendly familiarity. According to 
a local tradition, on one occasion Prazzatto was assisting 
at Charles's toilet, and on being asked what reward he 
wanted for his services, replied : " I am rich enough not 
to desire wealth ; I am king on board my own carracks, 
and have no need for honours ; I am a citizen of Ragusa, 
and desire no titles ; but, as a memento of your favour, 
you may give me this shaving towel." The request was 
granted, and the towel is religiously preserved to this 
day in the parish priest's house at Isola di Mezzo. At 
his death Prazzatto left his whole fortune, amounting 
to 200,000 ducats, to the Republic, which rewarded 

^ T. G. Jackson, Dalmatian vol. ii. pp. 387-88. 



his munificence by placing his statue in the courtyard of 
the Rector*s Palace — the only public monument ever 
erected to a citizen of Ragusa. The fame of Charles V. 
and of his exploits, owing to the part which Ragusa took 
in them, are a living memory to this day. 

Another distinguished family of Ragusan mariners 
was that of Ivelja Ohmudevic, Count of Tuhelj. The 
Ohmuteviifi were among the earliest exiles from the 
Herzegovina, who took refuge at Ragusa at the time of 
the Turkish conquest, and were granted lands at Slano. 
They at once began to devote themselves to maritime 
affairs, and in 1540 and 1541 the Republic hired their 
ships to transport grain from Italy. Their house at 
Slano was a miniature court, and fitted up with every 
luxury and elegance. It was a haven of refuge, where 
hospitality was dispensed to all sailors or voyagers who 
entered Slano harbour to escape from the tempest or 
from the pirates. Thus the Greek prince Alexius Com- 
nenus, after having been defeated by the corsair Kara- 
kosha, put in at Slano and repaired his ships in Ivelja's 
docks in 1569. He eventually settled there, and married 
into the Count's family. Ivelja's sons all entered the 
Spanish service, in which they greatly distinguished them- 
selves. The most famous of them was Don Pietro 
d'lvelja OhmuCcviif-Grgurid, who took part in the ex- 
pedition to Portugal in 1 5 80, where it is said that forty 
Ragusan vessels were lost, and in 1582 he commanded 
some Ragusan ships in the expedition to the Azores, 
under the Marquis de Santa Cruz. Later he raised a 
force against the pirate Passareto, who was eventually 
killed. He fitted out a fleet of twelve ships, known as the 


" Twelve Apostles," for the service of Spain, manned 
by 3200 Ragusans and other Dalmatians, at a cost of 
1 90,000 ducats.^ This squadron took part in an expe- 
dition to the Indies and in the Invincible Armada. One 
of the ships, the Annunciation^ was commanded by Count 
Peter's brother-in-law, the Almirante Don Estevan de 
Olisti-Tasov^id, " a very brave youth, of high spirits and 
beautiful manners,"* who behaved with conspicuous 
gallantry in the Armada. *' Finding himself separated 
from the body of the Spanish fleet, he was bombarded by 
the enemies' batteries, and escaped out of the range of 
their fire with difliculty, and in such a terrible plight 
that he was in danger of foundering, and unable to 
repair the damages. The Duke of Medina-Sidonia, 
grasping the situation, at once sent two pataches ' to the 
rescue, so as to save at least the crew. Don Estevan 
made for the Irish coast near Limerick, and succeeded in 
transferring his men from the doomed galleon to the 
pataches under a heavy fire. He then burnt his ship, to 
prevent her falling into the hands of the English, and 
sailed away to Santander, which he reached without the 
loss of a single man.* Afterwards he joined Count Peter 
at Cape Finisterre with a new galleon, which he had fitted 
out at his own expense, so as to complete the " Twelve 
Apostles." When Count Peter died he left the fleet as 
an inheritance to the King of Spain. But the vessels 
foundered soon after, and Don Estevan was sent to 

' It consisted of five galleons and seven carracks, with a total burden 
of 7200 carra, 

* Fra Benedetto Orsini (Miniati), quoted in Gelcich's / Conti de 
Tuhelj^ p. 87. 

' Small barques. * Gelcich, ilnd. 


Terceira with another squadron. This, too, came to a 
similar end, and sank with all hands in a sudden Atlantic 

Count Peter's other son, Don Jorge d'Olisti-Tasov- 
^i<5, served under Francisco de Mendoza in various 
expeditions to Tunis and elsewhere. With his brother 
Estevan he provisioned Naples during the famine of 
1592-94 — a risky operation owing to the perpetual raids 
of the pirates. After various encounters with the latter 
he fell in with a fleet of them of a hundred sail, com- 
manded by one Cicola, in the Straits of Messina during a 
calm. After a very severe engagement, overwhelmed by 
numbers, he was forced to surrender, and sent as a pris- 
oner to Constantinople, losing his three galleons, valued 
at 80,000 ducats, and their cargo valued at 20,000. 
He remained in captivity for three years, until he 
managed to raise the 3000 scudi required as his ransom, 
and returned to Spain a ruined man. But the King gave 
him a new command, and a pension of 40 scudi a month. 
He served with distinction with the Levant fleet on the 
coasts of Anatolia and of Albania in 1605-6, and later 
with the Western fleet. He died, loaded with honours, 
in 1625. 

Another member of this family, Don Juan d'Olisti- 
Dini^i<5-Tasov^i(^, was equally conspicuous, and fought 
under Stephen and George, and then under Don Luiz 
Faxardo in the attack on the coast of the Sea of 
Marmara (1614). He subsequently commanded twenty- 
six galleys in Catalonia, fought with the corsairs, and 
was appointed Captain-General of the Neapolitan Vice- 
regal fleet in 1639. 


With the death of Count Peter in 1599 the male 
line of the Counts of Tuhelj became extinct, but some 
years previously he had arranged a match between his 
daughter Aurelia and Andrea Ohmutevid-Grgurid, of 
the cadet branch of the family, also a captain in the 
Spanish service. The marriage did not take place until 
1 61 7. Andrea's brothers were all sea-dogs in the Spanish 
service. One of them, Don Pedro, led a successful ex- 
pedition to Brazil, and was afterwards appointed Spanish 
consul at Ragusa (i 623-1 631). Don Pablo, after knock- 
ing about in various parts of the world, ended his life in 
retirement at the family place at Slano. Don Andrea 
himself served Spain for fifty-seven years, commanding 
various fleets, and was created Spanish Admiral of the 
Neapolitan fleet, which position he held during the 
Masaniello rebellion. In 16 14 the Tuhelj estates in 
the Herzegovina, which after the Turkish conquest had 
been confiscated and then restored to the family on 
payment of a tribute, were once more confiscated on 
account of the part which its members had played in 
the Spanish wars against the Turks. Don Andrea tried 
in vain to obtain redress from the Pasha of the Herze- 
govina, and then appealed to the King of Hungary, 
who in two rescripts of 1650 and 1654 recognised Don 
Andrea's rights and those of his heirs, but there was no 
hope of enforcing them until the country should again 
be under the rule of a Christian Power; 224 more 
years were to elapse before this consummation came 
to pass ! 

Owing to the annoyances and prohibitions imposed 
by the Venetians, all the more enterprising Ragusan 


captains gradually abandoned the Adriatic, and extended 
their operations to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. 
Another of the great seafaring families was that of the 
MaSibradi. Girolamo Masibradi was the founder of its 
fortunes, but his first ventures, like those of Prazzatto, 
proved unsuccessful, and he was surprised and captured 
by a fleet of twenty-two pirate galleys from Rhodes, and 
sent as a slave to Scio. But he was soon ransomed, and 
with his brothers ended by accumulating great wealth. 
He was eventually appointed Captain-General of Spain, 
and granted a salary of 2400 scudi a year. His brother 
Nicholas was in the Spanish service for many years, and 
was created Marquis and Knight of St. James of Com- 
postella, and granted a large pension. Other Ragusan 
families attained to eminence, such as the Martolossi, 
the Bune (Bona), &c. All this brought riches to the 
citizens, but, on the other hand, it denuded the city of 
both ships and men. Gradually all the Ragusans who 
were not in the Spanish service sold their vessels, notwith- 
standing the laws forbidding these sales. The number 
of new ships built at Ragusa decreased to an alarming 
extent, and soon even the Spanish merchant navy began 
to decline owing to English and Dutch competition. 
Don Andrea, Count of Tuhelj, Admiral of Naples, 
made a series of proposals with the object of reviving 
the shipping and the trade of Spain and its vassal States, 
especially Ragusa. In a letter to the Senate of that city, 
dated March 4, 1634,^ he mentions the fact that there 
had been at one time from 70 to 80 large ships of 1000 
to 5000 salme flying the banner of St. Blaise, manned 

^ Kagusan Archives, 1600— Ixix. 21 19, in Gelcich, Tukelj^ 104. 


by 5000 sailors, "employed tn traffic throughout the 
Adriatic and the Mediterranean, voyaging even unto 


Lisbon, Flanders, and England. These vessels were 
well armed with artillery and ammunition, and manned 
by excellent officers and crews who were ever ready to 





withstand any enemy attempting to molest them. The 
assurance that the ships were so good and so well armed, 
and that the seamen were so brave and trustworthy, in- 
duced all European merchants to employ them for the 
transport of their goods. They were consequently almost 
always making voyages, and the profits were so large 
that not only were they kept in good repair, but new 
vessels were constantly built, and the full number 
was thus maintained. Ragusa increased in wealth, in 
honour, and in population, for the Republic was greatly 
esteemed by the princes and potentates of the world. 
But in consequence of the recent truce concluded by His 
Githolic Majesty with the Netherlands, Michael Waez, 
Count of Mola, was able to introduce Dutch ships into 
the Mediterranean and the Adriatic for the purposes of 
commerce, and these vessels, not being exposed to the 
attacks of the Turks, the Moors, the English, and the 
other enemies of Spain, were under no necessity of de- 
fending themselves. They were therefore able to sail 
with small crews at small expense, and charge lower 
freights. Wherefore most of Ragusan ships began 
to fall into disrepair and were not renovated. . . . 
The only remedy for this woeful decline is that His 
Catholic Majesty, in the interests and for the mainten- 
ance of this most excellent Republic and of his own 
vassals, should grant to all those who build large ships 
special exemptions and privileges throughout his king- 
doms of Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, and that 
preference should be given to those designed for the 
transport of grain, salt, wool, and other similar goods.** 
The Dutch now almost monopolised the carrying 


trade of the Mediterranean, and it became cheaper not 
only to obtain northern products, but even the spices of 
the East from Amsterdam, where they arrived by the 
Cape route, than directly overland and distributed by 
Italian or Dalmatian ships. Neither Spain nor Ragusa 
paid attention to his proposals, and both allowed the 
fatal decay to continue. But still the Ragusans continued 
to distinguish themselves in the Spanish service, especially 
the members of the Tuhelj family. One of them, Don 
Antonio, when he heard of the terrible earthquake at 
Ragusa, gave up his brilliant career in Spain and came to 
the help of his distressed fatherland. He was subse- 
quently sent as Ragusan envoy on a number of diplomatic 
missions. His branch of the family finally entered the 
Austrian service, and received high emoluments from 
the Emperor Leopold. The reason of these favours lies 
in the fact that the Tuhelj still claimed their ancestral 
estates, at Castelnuovo, Risano in the Herzegovina, and 
at Kastoria in Macedonia, and were therefore likely to 
prove useful in the Austrian campaigns against the 
Turks. Don Antonio Damiano, in fact, served for five 
years in the frontier wars, and ended his military career 
after a severe wound at the battle of Dervent in Bosnia 
(September 5, 1688). He was then appointed Imperial 
Resident at Ragusa, and devoted himself to the cause of 
the emancipation of Bosnia and the Herzegovina from 
the Turkish yoke. He visited those provinces repeatedly, 
and when he himself could no longer travel he arranged 
an elaborate system of secret information. In 1701 he 
was created Knight of Justice and Commissary-General 
of the Order of St. George, the object of which was to 




redeem Christian lands from the Infidel, and he took up 
his residence in Vienna to prepare his plan. But in his 
old age he retired to Ragusa once more, and spent his 
last days in studying the city archives, reconstructing 
the history of his own family. He too tried to revive 
the practice of inducing his countrymen to enter the 
; Spanish service, and wished to enrol numbers of experi- 

\ % enced Ragusan officers and sailors to man the navies of 

Spain, saying that they were far better fighters than the 

Neapolitans. " Ten Ragusans,*' he wrote, ** are worth 

'. more than a hundred Lazzaroni." ^ But it was now too 

f . late, and decadence had gone too far. The large number 

of Ragusan vessels lost in the service of Spain discouraged 
the citizens, while the population and wealth of Ragusa 
was greatly reduced by the earthquake. The Republic 
was now suffering from the vexatious attitude of the 
Venetians and the Turks, who were conspiring together 
for the destruction of the last *' Antemurale Christiani- 
1" tatis " in the Balkan peninsula, and the citizens actually 

I ' proposed to ask for a Spanish-Neapolitan ^' Governatore 

! . delle Armi." Don Antonio's scheme having fallen 

> through, he returned to his historical studies, and col- 

lected a mass of more or less unreliable information, 
chiefly culled from local traditions and native historians. 

* Gelcich, Tuhelj\ 128. 



WARS (1667-1797) 

OF all the Ragusan aristocracy, in whom the whole 
power of the Republic was vested, only twenty- 
five adult males survived this terrible calamity, 
and not all of these were eligible for the highest offices. 
They organised themselves into a provisional Govern- 
ment, and after some demur decided to ennoble eleven 
burgher families and receive them into their order. 
They did not, however, grant them full privileges nor 
admit them to all the offices, and this exclusion subse- 
quently led to internal difficulties. The question of de- 
population was now a serious one. According to Coleti, 
600 Orthodox Christian families from the neighbouring 
districts applied to the Senate for permission to settle 
in Ragusa to fill up the gaps, and offered to pay 2500 
ducats each to the State treasury. But even the earth- 
quake had failed to make the Republic more tolerant of 
schismatics, and permission was refused.^ 

Very slowly Ragusa rose from her ruins, and the 
work of rebuilding began. Help came to the stricken 
city from all parts of Christendom. The church of the 
patron saint was the first edifice to be repaired, and then 
the Sponza, the chief source of the Republic*s revenues. 

^ Farlati-Coleti, Illyricum Sacrum^ iv. ;. Engel, § 49. 












; But it was a very different Ragusa to that which existed 
before the earthquake. The merchant navy, save for 
a few coasting vessels, had now disappeared, and with 
it the sea-borne trade, while the land trade was also 

On September 29, 1669, after one of the most 
memorable and heroic sieges in history, lasting twenty- 
five years, the Venetian garrison at Candia surrendered to 
f' the Turks. For this irreparable loss Venice obtained 

some poor compensation in Dalmatia, viz. Clissa, Novi- 
grad, and a few other towns. The Venetians tried to 
improve their Dalmatian trade at the expense of Ragusa 
by inducing the Porte to direct the Bosnian caravans 
towards Spalato and Castelnuovo instead of to Ragusa 
and Stagno. The Turks, although their power was on 
the wane, had become more arrogant than ever after the 
conquest of Candia. Kara Mustafa, who was Grand 
Vizier, a fanatical hater of Christians, took it into his 
head to make an end of Ragusa, and as a pretext blamed 
the citizens for having resisted the bands of armed 
marauders from the Herzegovina who had come into 
the town to plunder after the earthquake, and accused 
them of having sold goods to the Turks during the 
late war at famine prices. As a punishment he raised 
the tribute and demanded in addition 146,000 ducats, 
threatening to annex the Republic in case of non-com- 
pliance. The Ragusans in vain declared themselves too 
poor to pay owing to the earthquake ; but Kara Mustafa 
remained firm, and even supported the extortionate 
demands of the Pashas of Bosnia and the Herzegovina. 
The Senate assembled hurriedly and decided to send two 


ambassadors to Constantinople and two envoys to Bosnia 
to try to appease the brutal Turks. But the difficulty 
was to find the men, for no one relished the idea of this 
very dangerous mission — the Ragusans well knew the 
way in which recalcitrant diplomats were treated by the 
Ottoman when he lost his temper. At last four cour- 
ageous nobles offered to go for their country's sake, 
namely, Marino Caboga and Giorgio Bucchia for the 
mission to Constantinople, and Niccol6 Bona and Marino 
Gozze for Bosnia. The life of Caboga is so romantic 
that it deserves some mention. He was born in 1630, 
and after a youth of riot and dissipation, at the age of 
twenty-five he was engaged in a law-suit with a relative, 
whom he accused of having defrauded him. The trial 
took place before the Senate, and the accused reproached 
Caboga with his disorderly life and cast doubts on his 
honour. Stung to the quick, the young man drew his 
sword and murdered the slanderer. Flight to a sanctuary 
saved him from capital punishment, but he was con- 
demned to perpetual imprisonment. During his confine- 
ment his only book was a Latin Bible, and he covered 
the walls of his prison with verses expressive of the 
deepest contrition. When the earthquake occurred he 
escaped from prison with difficulty ; but instead of trying 
to get away he devoted himself to the work of rescue, 
and displayed great energy in repelling the attacks of the 
Morlachs, whom he drove from the city. When some 
sort of order was re-established and the Council met, he 
presented himself before the Conscript Fathers. One of 
them at once declared him disgraced and incapable of 
sitting, but the majority decided that as a reward for 



/ i 

■ * 

# ■ 





^ ■ ■( 


his great services in this time of danger he should be 
forgiven ; he was thereupon readmitted to all his privi- 
leges. It was this same man who now offered to risk 
his life for his city once more. On their departure he 
and his companions bade farewell to their friends as 
though they were going to certain death. 

Caboga and Bucchia reached Constantinople on 
/ August 8, 1667. The former showed so much diplo- 

matic skill in the negotiations that Kara Mustafa had 
him and his colleague cast into prison on December 13, 
in a building that served as a lazaret for plague patients. 
But even then they refused to advise the Republic to 
consent to the Turkish demands. When asked if he 
would advise the Senate to agree to annexation by the 
Porte, Caboga replied that " he was sent to serve, not 
to betray his country *' ; and he succeeded in sending a 
message to the Senate encouraging them to hold out to 
the last regardless of his own fate, and only showing 
anxiety that his children should receive a sound religious 
education. The ambassadors were transferred from one 
dungeon to another, and threatened with all manner of 
punishments, but in vain. 

Worse befell the envoys to Bosnia. When the Pasha 
heard that they had not brought the money demanded 
he threw them into an unhealthy dungeon, and after a 
few months transferred them to Silistria at the mouth of 
the Danube, where the Sultan Mohammed IV. was re- 
siding, and here they were kept in still severer detention. 
But they too held firm, and advised the Senate not to 
give way. In 1678 Bona fell ill, and, being utterly 
untended, died. 


The Republic meanwhile applied to the King of 
Naples for arms and troops, expecting a Turkish attack, 
raised a loan for defensive purposes at Genoa,^ and 
negotiated with the Emperor Leopold. Kara Mustafa, 
on being informed of this action, vowed vengeance, 
determined to capture the city, and only delayed 
the operation until he should return from the siege 
of Vienna. But fortunately his armies were defeated 1 
by John Sobieski, King of Poland, and this Christian 
victory saved Europe, shaking the Ottoman power to its 
very foundations. The ferocious vizir was disgraced 
and beheaded in consequence, and the projects against 
Ragusa abandoned. Caboga, Bucchia, and Gozze were 
then liberated and allowed to return home. "As he 
(Caboga) approached the city every knoll, villa, and 
house-top was covered with an admiring, almost adoring, 
people ; every bell in Ragusa rang a merry peal, and the 
Rector and Senate, in full robes, went out of the city 
to give a cordial welcome to the wonderful Marino 
Caboga.*' * He had indeed deserved well of his country, 
for never had the Republic been in more imminent 
danger, from which she was saved by this respite. ^^ v ^.,^ , 

In March 1684 a new Holy League was formed ^ 

between the Emperor Leopold I., the King of Poland, 
the Pope, and the Venetians, in which Ragusa was forced 
to join. But the danger from such a proceeding was now 
less great, for the Turkish power was now broken. As 
the Austrians had reconquered a large part of Hungary, . 
Ragusa was considered to be under the protection of the 

> Engcl, § 59. 
^ A. A. Paton, Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic^ vol. ii. p. lyosqq. 





. t 



Emperor as ruler of that country, and on August 20, 
1684, a treaty to that effect was signed at Vienna by 
Baron von Strattmann, representing Austria, and Raphael 
Gozze, the Ragusan envoy, under the auspices of the 
Marquis of Borgamenero, the Spanish ambassador, for 

! » Spain still had certain rights over the Republic. The 

agreement was ratified by the Senate on December i. It 

^^ declared that this protection was merely a renewal of the 

old Hungarian protectorate over Ragusa, " hactenus per 
vim Turcicam aliquantisper interpolata," which the citi- 
zens requested that they "quasi postliminio gaudere et 
fieri possint." The Emperor promised to protect and 
defend Ragusa, to confirm all the privileges and com- 
mercial immunities which the kings of Hungary, his pre- 
decessors, had granted her, in exchange for which she was 
to pay him a sum of 5000 ducats per annum. This 
payment, however, was only to be made if and when 
the Austrian armies conquered the Herzegovina. The 
Empire was successful in the war, and the Turks were 
steadily driven back out of Hungary, where they now 
only held a few isolated posts. Venice too displayed an 
energy and achieved a success remarkable for a decaying 
State. She conquered the greater part of the Morea, 
captured Athens and a number of islands, and occupied 
Castelnuovo and the whole of the shores of the Bocche 
di Cattaro, as well as several positions in the Herzegovina. 
The Morlachs in the Venetian service made raids into 
Turkish territory, and did not spare that of Ragusa. 
Venetian privateers threatened to destroy what remained 
of the Republic's sea-borne trade, while the closing of 
the land routes practically stopped all intercourse with 

■ * 


Turkey. The citizens applied now to their new pro- 
tector, the Emperor of Austria, who at once sent 
Herberstein to Ragusa as Imperial Commissary, and he 
induced the Venetians to desist from their molestations. 

As, however, the Austrian armies did not conquer 
the Herzegovina, Ragusa never paid the tribute to the 
Emperor, and as soon as there was a prospect of peace on 
lines contemplating the maintenance of the status quo as 
regards the hinterland, the Republic hastened to come 
to an agreement with the Porte, and sent an ambassador 
to Constantinople with the arrears of tribute since 1684. 
After some years' fighting the Tsar Peter's capture of 
Azov, the Austrian victory of Zenta, and the Venetian 
successes in the Adriatic induced the Sultan to sue for 
peace, and in October 1698 the delegates of the Powers, 
including England and Holland, met at Carlovitz in 
southern Hungary. On June 26, 1699, the treaty \ 
was signed. • The Porte ceded all Hungary save the 
Banat of Temesvar, Transsilvania, Slavonia, and Croatia 
as far as the Una, to the Emperor; Poland obtained 
Podolia, the Ukraine, and Kameniek ; to Venice were 
assigned the Morea, some islands, and several fortresses 
in Dalmatia. An important article from the Ragusan 
point of view, which was obtained by bribing the Turkish 
negotiators, was that two strips of Turkish territory 
should intervene between the dominions of the Republic 
of St. Blaize and those of the Republic of St. Mark, viz. 
the enclaves of Klek, near the Narenta*s mouth, and of 
Sutorina in the Bocche di Cattaro.^ Ragusa thus became 

* Article ix. and xi. of the Turco- Venetian Treaty ; see Rycauf s con- 
tinuation of Knolles's Turkish History, 




tributary to the Porte once more, and deliberately pre- 
ferred to be surrounded by the Turkish dominions rather 
than by those of the Venetians. This result brought 
about a partial revival of the land trade. 

In 1 7 14 war between Venice and the Turks broke 
out once more, the Sultan desiring above all to reconquer 
the Morea ; he succeeded in his purpose very quickly, for 
the Venetians, relying on the peace of Girlovitz, which 
was to last twenty-five years (the Turks never concluded 
treaties of perpetual peace), had made no adequate pre- 
parations for defence. They allied themselves with the 
Emperor (April 13, 17 16), and Prince Eugene led an 
army into southern Hungary. The Imperialists defeated 
the Turks first at Peterwardein, and then at Belgrad, 
which they captured. In 17 18 the representatives of the 
various Powers met at Passarovitz (Poiarovac) in Servia, 
and on i8th July signed a treaty of peace, by which 
the Emperor retained all his conquests, but the capture 
of the Morea by the Turks was confirmed, the Venetians 
thus losing their last possessions in the Levant save 
the Ionian Islands. With regard to Ragusa the arrange- 
ments of the peace of Carlovitz were reconfirmed, Venice 
giving up the posts of Popovo, Zarina, and Subzi on the 
Ragusan border. 

Fbr the next few years the Republic was undisturbed 
by wars and rumours of wars, but its general conditions 
showed little improvement. The tribute to the Sultan 
was 12,500 ducats a year, and with gifts and bribes 
amounted to 16,000; but since the earthquake it had 
been paid every three years instead of annually. The 
Ragusans also paid blackmail to the Barbary States, and 




• to 


a tribute at irregular intervals to Austria. Every year a 
present was sent to the Pope, and twelve astori (falcons) 
to the King of Naples.^ The population was now no 
more than 20,000, and the value of property had so 
decreased that the incomes of the archbishops and clergy 
were utterly inadequate. Education was in the hands of 
the Jesuits, who had established a college. But in the 
rest of the territory there were no means of instruction 
or religion. Archbishop Galliani, in a report to the Pro^ 
paganda Fide^ complains that the upper classes were 
beginning to read French books and talk mockingly 
about fasting, flagellation, and other practices of the 
Church. When he remonstrated with them he was told 
that the Index had not been proclaimed at Ragusa, and 
had therefore no authority. He afterwards had it pro- 
claimed from the pulpits, but the only effect was that 
the Senate in a fit of zeal ordered the burning of the 
Jewish Thalmud, a work which can hardly have had 
many readers, nor shaken the piety of the people. But 
in spite of their scepticism the Ragusans were as in- 
tolerant as ever towards the members of the Orthodox \ 
Church. In 1724 a rich Servian, named Sava Vladi- i 
Slavic^, who had a house and garden at Ragusa and many ' 
friends among the aristocracy, asked permission to build 
a Greek chapel in his own grounds. But even this 
modest request, although backed by a letter from the ; 
Tsar Peter the Great, was refused.' The incident is 
not without significance ; the Catholic Slaves have always 

> Paul Pisani, La Dalmatie de 1797 ^ 181 5, Paris, 1893. 
^ Oct. 20, 1724, in Farlati, p. 272. 
» Engcl, § 53. 


been particularly bitter against the Orthodox Christians, 
while the letter from the Tsar is an early symptom of 
the interest taken by Russia in the welfare of Orthodox 
communities outside her own territory, an interest, then 
as now, essentially political rather than religious. In 
1743 Pope Benedict XIV. wrote to the Senate encourag- 
ing them in their religious refusal to permit the building 
of Greek churches and to admit Greek priests into the 

But another revival in the city's prosperity seemed 
to be at hand. Trade, which had been apparently in 
a hopeless condition, began to show signs of improving. 
In 1727 Ragusan ships once more extended their voyages 
beyond the limits of the Adriatic ; in that year a vessel 
went to Smyrna for the first time for many years. The 
wars between England, France, and Spain in 1 739-1 750, 
and in 175 5- 1763, proved advantageous to Ragusan 
shipping, and much of the commerce of the Mediter- 
ranean passed into their hands as neutrals. 

Ragusa had her last dispute with Venice in 1754, 
when she complained to the Porte that the Venetians 
had illegally cut down forests on Ragusan territory, 
and levied exorbitant tolls on Ragusan vessels. The 
Pasha of Bosnia acted as mediator, and Venice agreed 
to renounce the dues, but Ragusa was to pay homage 
to the Most Serene Republic by presenting a silver ewer 
and twenty sequins every third year to the Capitano in 
Golfo, or Admiral of the Adriatic, as compensation for 
the rights of transit paid to Venice by Ragusa " da 
tempi immemorabili fino al presente anno.'' 

During the Seven Years* War Ragusa had a diplo- 


matic incident with Great Britain. The Republic was 
suspected by the British Government of allowing French 
ships to be fitted out in her own harbours. The Jesuit 
scientist Ruggiero Boskovic^ was sent to England as 
Ragusan agent to convince the authorities of the ground- 
lessness of the accusation ; he succeeded in his mission, 
and was well received. 

In 1763 a revolution broke out at Ragusa, the first 
since 1400, albeit a bloodless one, and the fourth in 
the whole course of her history. It arose through the 
antagonism between the old and the new nobility, the 
latter created after the earthquake. The two orders did 
not intermarry, and had always lived on terms of mutual 
jealousy. The older nobles were called Salamanchesi, 
and the newer Sorbonnesi.^ The immediate cause of the 
outbreak was a romantic incident. A young Caboga, a 
member of the old aristocracy, fell in love with, and 
became betrothed to, a daughter of a Sorbonnese family. 
The afiFair caused great scandal, and was discussed in the 
Grand and Minor Councils. The Salamanchesi wished 
to forbid the marriage and to expel Caboga from the 
assemblies, while the newer order and many young 
members of the old wished to see these absurd barriers 
removed. As the former would not give way, the latter 
made overtures to the people, who were beginning to 
be somewhat dissatisfied with the existing Government. 
An imeute broke out; the Rectors Palace was stormed 
by an armed band, the old nobles were turned out, 
and the ofiicials forced to relinquish their functions. 

' Why they should have called themselves by the names of those two 
famous universities is not clear. 


But the new nobles had not the courage to take posses- 
sion in violation of the established rules of centuries, 
and for a time complete anarchy reigned. There were 
no law courts, no provincial governors, no commanders 
of the forts. The people, however, who had always 
been accustomed to absolute submission to the oligarchy, 
made no attempt to disturb the peace. They pursued 
their usual occupations, and awaited the result of the 
quarrel with equanimity, hoping that the outcome would 
be a reduction of their taxes. Negotiations between the 
two parties were opened, but the Salamanchesi proved 
intractable ; and when the Sorbonnesi suggested Papal 
intervention they threatened to bring the affair before 
the Sultan and to apply for assistance to the Pasha of 
Bosnia, saying that they would rather give the city over 
to the Turks than resign their privileges ! At last the 
new nobles declared that if their opponents did not give 
way in three days they would appoint their own Rector 
and the other officials. This decision ended the dispute, 
and a number of the Salamanchesi went over to the new 
party, which thus formed two-thirds of the Grand 
Council, so that the elections could be validly held. A 
compromise was arrived at : the Rector was chosen from 
the old nobility, the taxes were somewhat reduced, and 
the restrictions abolished.^ 

In 1768 war broke out between Russia and Turkey, 
in consequence of the interference of the former in the 
affairs of Poland and various incursions of Russian troops 
across the Turkish frontier. A Russian fleet, under 
Admiral OrlofF and the Englishman Elphinstone, entered 

» Engcl, § 55. 


the Mediterranean and sailed up the Adriatic. Finding 
that a number of Ragusan ships were carrying foodstufl^ 
from Alexandria and other Levantine ports to Con- 
stantinople, OrlofF treated these and all other Ragusan 
vessels as enemies, although their captains protested that 
they had been forced to ship the cargoes by the Pasha of 
Alexandria. He summoned the Republic to renounce 
Turkish suzerainty, and to place itself under the protec- 
tion of a Christian Power. He demanded that all the 
larger Ragusan ships should be sold to Russia, to whom 
the State must also make a loan, and permission was to be 
given for the erection of a Greek church in the town. 
The admiral threatened bombardment in case of non- 
compliance. The Government first thought of resisting, 
and tried to place Ragusa in a state of defence. But on 
examination it was discovered that of the 400 cannon in 
the forts only 40 were mounted, while the ammunition 
consisted of less than 2000 lbs. of powder and about 
5000 cannon balls. A force of 5000 men might have 
been raised, but there was no means of arming or feeding 
them. The Republic then resorted to bribery, and 
offered Orloff 120,000 sequins, by which the storm was 
for a moment averted,^ but the Russian fleet continued 
to harry Ragusan trade. The citizens, fearing further 
trouble, applied to France for assistance, and this not 
being forthcoming, to Austria. The Ragusan envoy at 
Vienna, Francesco Giuseppe Gondola, a descendant of 
the poet and the last of that name, did all in his power 
to induce the Empress Maria Theresa to intervene on 
behalf of Ragusa. But she was at that time on bad terms 

^ Pouqueville^ Voyage de la Grlu^ vol. i. ; Engel, § 56. 


with Catherine II. of Russia, and the negotiations failed 
to have the desired efFect. The Senate then sent Francesco 
Ragnina to St. Petersburg as envoy, but Catherine re- 
fused to receive him. At last, after long negotiations, 
when peace was made between Russia and Turkey in 
1774, a special agreement was concluded at Leghorn 
between OrlofF, who was there with his fleet, and 
Ragnina, settling the differences. A clause was inserted 
that a Greek church should be built, but it was not 

A quarrel arose between the Republic and the King- 
dom of Naples in 1782. The Neapolitan Government, 
for some unknown reason, suddenly claimed to revive its 
old rights over Ragusa, and demanded the privilege of 
appointing a Govematore delle Armi in the town and a 
Neapolitan oflicial as Resident. These requests being 
refused, it tried to enforce them by placing an embargo 
on the Ragusan ships in the ports of the Two Sicilies, 
and seizing all Ragusan property in the kingdom. The 
Ragusan Minister at Vienna, Count d*Ajala, induced 
Count Kaunitz, Austrian Minister at Naples, to intercede 
in the Republic's favour, *' as energetically as was con- 
sistent with the good relations between the two Courts." 
But the Neapolitan Government held firm for the time. 
Eventually a compromise was arrived at, the embargo 
was removed, the confiscated property restored, and a 
Govematore delle Armi appointed on condition that he 
refrained from interfering with the affairs of the 
Republic. The salary paid to him was 30 soldi a day 
and an old turret to live in.^ 

^ Pouqueville, ibid^ 



The peace was again disturbed in 1787 by a new war 
between Russia and Turkey, Austria siding with the 
former. This time the Republic was more circumspect, 
and through the ability of d'Ajala suffered no harm 
beyond a little plundering. More serious trouble arose in 
1792, when war having been declared by the European 
Coalition against the French Republic, the Court of Vienna 
complained that Ragusan ships were carrying grain to 
French ports. The Senate protested that such acts had 
been done against its orders, and that it had no objection 
to the punishment of Ragusan captains caught in the 
act. It is the same old story — Ragusan seamen profiting 
by foreign wars, while the Government casts off all 

Before coming to the concluding chapter of the 
Republic's history, I shall quote a few descriptions of 
Ragusa in the eighteenth century by diflFerent travel- 
lers. Pr^vot, who was French consul in 1750, gives a 
curious picture of the town, showing the character of 
its narrow oligarchy. " The Republic,** he writes, " i.e. 
those who govern it, do not care that foreigners of 
distinction, whether consuls or traders, should come to 
Ragusa, because they are obliged to use a certain measure 
of respect and justice towards them which they do not 
show to any of their own subjects. The pride of the 
nobles, who make everything give way before their 
authority, is hurt at being obliged to show the least 
consideration to those who are not of their own order, 
lest they should lose caste in the eyes of their slaves, by 
whom they wish to be regarded as the lords of creation. 
Trade carried on by foreigners seems to them a trespass 


on their own ventures, even when it does not actually com- 
pete with them ; for they dread even potential rivalry. 
Hence their system of exclusion, for they prefer to 
be absolute masters of very little rather than share 
a few benefits with people who are not their slaves. 
Above all, they imagine that the French, being sharper 
than other people, see the viciousness of their rule, the 
injustice of their administration, and the absurdity of 



their pretensions ; they blush for very shame, and wish 
to be isolated so as to avoid being exposed to criticism. 
It is their sensitive spot. One may well be circum- 
spect, but they have too much intelligence not to 
know their own defects, but too much obstinacy and 
pride to wish to correct them, and to suffer other 
witnesses of their conduct than those who are forced 
to applaud it. One may say that Ragusa is less a State 
than a private house, of which both masters and servants 



prefer to shut the doors to strangers so as to remain 
unknown." ^ 

Pouqueville, who was at Ragusa in 1 805, also describes 
the social conditions of the people. " The nobles had 
places of honour in church, at the caf6, at the theatre, 
and the noblewomen had sedan chairs adorned with their 
armorial bearings, and took precedence at all meeting 
places. The days on which the Rector went to church 
were marked in red letters in the Ragusan calendar with 
the words, * Oggi Sua Sereniti si porta al Duomo.* He 
went there in a much patched red toga, preceded by a 
valet carrying a red silk umbrella . . . followed by the 
Senators in black threadbare gowns. Before him marched 
two musicians, one with a hunting-horn and the other 
with a fiddle. 

" The citizens form three corporations : the cittadi- 
nanza^ recruited from the commoners having a capital of 
20,000 francs, who were like the Roman liberti. Their 
women-folk were admitted to the theatre in a row of 
boxes parallel to that of the noblewomen, whom they 
eclipsed by their beauty and their attire. They had to 
pay visits to the noblewomen on certain days. 

" The second class was the bourgeoisie, the indus- 
trious part of the population, for it included the sea 
captains, men of great honesty, sailors, and agents in 
foreign countries. Their wives were not received by 
the nobility, and might only go to the parterre of the 
theatre ; but at the promenade they shone by the ele- 
gance of their figures and their wealth. The men spent 
most of their lives at sea, and when they had accumu- 

' Quoted by Pouqucvillc. 


lated a fortune they often retired to foreign lands, as 
they hsd no consideration at home. 

*' The peasants were ser^, and attached to the land 
and sold with it. But their master could not kill them, 
and if he ill-treated them they could go to another. 

"In 1805 the nobles were usually estimable men, 
and among them were many Ultirauurs of great merit. 
The religious Orders, who had produced Banduri, Bos- 
kovi£, Zamagna, and other men of letters and science, 
kept alive the sacred fire. . . . The cittadtnanza con- 
tained many rich families, and the merchants owned over 
3000 ships, which carried nearly all the trade of the 
Mediterranean. The peasants did not complain of their 
lot, and, the men being much better than the laws, the 
State was flourishing. . . . The peasants were splendid 
fellows, but absolutely obedient to their masters. It 
was the ancient respect for a caste which, being un- 
military, was peaceful and debonair. There was no 
secret police, no gendarmes. In 1805 the first capital 
sentence in twenty-five years was pronounced ; the city 
went into mourning, and an executioner had to be sent 
for from Turkey. . . . The Ragusan serfs are extremely 
brave. They are in perpetual war with the Monte- 
negrins, who are savage and without honour. There 
was a constant blood-feud, and the book of blood was 
preserved by the Senate to remind the Ragusans of their 
duty. When a feud had gone on for a long time, and 
too many murders had been committed on both sides, a 
composition was agreed to for a small sum." 

In spite of its defects, which French writers, imbued 
with the ideas of the eighteenth-century philosophers 


and of the Revolution, would naturally tend to ex- 
aggerate,^ the Republic of Ragusa very favourably im- 
pressed an Englishman, Thomas Watkins, who visited 
the town in 1879. "Of the Ragusans I cannot write 
too favourably, especially of the nobles and superior 
order of citizens, who, generally speaking, possess all the 
good qualities that virtuous example and refined educa- 
tion can bestow, without those vices which prevail in 
countries more open to foreign intercourse, and conse- 
quently more practised in deception. They have more 
learning and less ostentation than any people I know, 
more politeness to each other, and less envy. Their 
hospitality to strangers cannot possibly be exceeded ; in 
short, their general character has in it so few defects that 
I do not hesitate to pronounce them (as far as my ex- 
perience of other people will permit me) the wisest, best, 
and happiest of States.'** Later the author compares 
the condition of the Ragusans to those of the Dalmatian 
subjects of Venice, very unfavourably to the latter. " I 
discovered that the wretched Government of Venice had, 
by sending out their Barnabotti or famished nobility 
to prey upon the inhabitants, rendered ineffectual the 
benefits of nature. What a contrast between them and 
the citizens of Ragusa, who live protected and exempt 
from all taxes, while they can scarcely subsist upon the 
rich lands they inhabit, being harassed by every species 
of extortion that avarice can devise and power exe- 

^ Also the fact that France had destroyed the liberties of the Republic 
would tend to make Frenchmen of the time dwell on its defects, just as 
they did in the case of the Venetian Republic. 

^ T. Watkins, Travels through Swisserland , , , to Constantinople^ 
vol. ii. Letter xlii. p. 331 sqq. 



cute." ' The picture is somewhat idealised, and, as we 
have seen, even the Ragusans had taxes to complain of ; 
but there is no doubt that they were far better off than 
the Dalmatian Venetians, or, indeed, than the citizens of 
most other States at that time. 

During the prot racted wars_between E ngland and 
France, and between Englan d and America . Ragusa n 
trade revived to an unex pected extent, and the pros- 
perity or the inhabitants Increased a "Hundredfold. _In 
1779 there were 162 ships flying St. Blaize's banner, of 
10 to 40 guns each, and 27 more lay at the wharves. 
The land trade also flourished, and the old routes became 
alive with caravans once more. B]f_the year 17^7 the 
fleet had incre ased to 363 ships of over 15 tons, valued at 
16,000,000 piastres, bringing in an income of 2,400,000 
piastres to the owners, and a revenue of 152,000 piastres 
to the State. The coastwis e trade employed 80 boats, 
worth 400,000 piastres. The tax on oil "Brought in 
27,000 piastres; the exports by sea were valued at 
420,000 piastres, the imports at 1,800,000 piastres; 
the exports by land at 1,500,000 piastres, the imports 
at 900,000 piastres. Agriculture was very flourishing. 
The population had again risen to 35,000, and their 
income increased every year by 700,000 florins. 

The Republic maintained an ambassador at Vienna 
(Count d'Ajala), a Minister in Rome, political agents in 
Paris, Naples, and Constantinople, and consuls at Venice, 
Alexandria, and various other towns. At Ragusa there 
was a French and an Austrian consul ; Naples and Russia 
were represented by Ragusan merchants. 

' T. Watkins, Travels through Sviissertand . . . to Constantinople 
Letter xliii. p. 344. 




A FTER the departure of the last Venetian Count < 
U\ from Ragusa in 1 35 8, although Hungarian polit- 
^ ^ ical supremacy succeeded to that of Venice, the 
artistic and civilising influence of the Most Serene Republic 
survived, and its impress in the town is unmistakable to this 
day. The pointed arches in the Venetian Gothic style, the 
carved balconies, the two-light and three-light windows, 
the general character of the stonework and sculpture, in 
spite of certain distinctive features, bear witness to the 
strength of Venetian example. Venice was the nearest 
centre of civilisation to Ragusa, and the fountain-head of 
art. In spite of the jealousy and suspicion which the 
little Republic always felt towards its powerful neigh- 
bour, many Ragusan artists received their training in ' 
Venice, while many Venetians came to execute work on 
the public and private buildings of Ragusa. Venice 
was not, however, the only city which thus influenced 
Ragusa ; other Italian towns, such as Ancona, Florence, 
Padua, and Naples, contributed towards her artistic de- 
velopment, in which even Hungary had some small 

The most important and interesting building in the ' 
town is undoubtedly the Rector's Palace, which is to 

Ragusa what the Ducal Palace is to Venice. It was com- 



menced by architects inspired by Venetian ideas, and 
completed by others devoted to Renaissance art. The 
site of the existing edifice was originally occupied — in 
the days when the whole town was confined to the sea- 
ward ridge, and separated from the mainland by a marshy 
channel where the 
Stradone now runs 
— by a castle as a 
defence against the 
Vlach settlement on 
the opposite side. 
When this was ab- 
sorbed, and the 
marshy channel 
filled in, the castle 
was en laired and 
strengthened, and 
later became the 
seat of the Govern- 
ment and the resi- 
dence of the Count. 
Beyond the fact 
that it was pro- 
tected by four 
towers,! we know nothing about this early building. 
Already, in 1272, it was spoken of as a very ancient 
edifice,' and in 1349 the Council decided "quod sata 
veteris palatii ubi dominus Comes habitat reaptetur 
ct altius'elevetur,'" which seems to show that it had 
been allowed to fall into disrepair. In 1388 it was 

• Gelcichip. 43. ' Ibid. * Reform., \\., Oct. 3, 1349. 



demolished, and on its site the foundations of a larger 
and more commodious building were laid. The new 
palace was not completed until 1420, and of this also 
little is known, as fifteen years later a fire destroyed 
*^the spacious palace of Ragusa, which was in ancient 
times the castle, together with certain towers, and nearly 
all the ammunition and arms which were kept for the 
defence of the city and the armament of the galleys." ^ 
** Then the Ragusan Government decided that the Palace 
should be rebuilt with more magnificent construction, 
sparing no expense, and that the greater part of the 
former castle which the fiery flame had not consumed 
should be levelled with the ground, the architect being a 
certain Mastro Onofrio Giordani of La Cava, in the 
kingdom of Naples. The walls are made of ashlar 
stone (De Diversis was a witness both of the fire and of 
the reconstruction), finely wrought and very ornamentally 
carved, with great vaults resting on tall and stout columns, 
which were brought from Curzola.* The capitals, or 
upper parts of these columns, are carved with great 
pains. There are five large entire columns, but two 
other half-columns, one attached to one tower, the other 
to the other; on the first was carved -ffisculapius, the 
restorer of medical art, at the instigation of that re- 
markable poet and most learned man of letters, Niccol6 
de Lazina (Larina or Laziri), a noble of Cremona. . . . 
For since he knew, and had learned in his literary studies, 
that w£sculapius had his origin at Epidaurus, which is 

1 De Diversis, ed. Brunelli, p. 39. 

^ Curzola has always been &mous for its building stone, which is 
almost a marble, and acquires a rich yellow patina with age. 


now called Ragusa/ he took the greatest pains and 
trouble that his image should be carved on the building, 
and he composed a metrical epitaph to him, which was 
fixed in the wall. On a central column of the entrance 
to the Palace is seen sculptured the first righteous judg- 
ment of Solomon. In an angle of the principal door is 
the likeness of the Rector hearing offences. At the 
entrance of the Lesser Council, of which I shall have to 
speak by-and-by, is a certain sculpture of Justice holding 
a scroll, on which is read as follows : " Jussi summa mei 
sua vos cuicumque tueri'." * 

But even this second palace was destined to suffer a 
similar fate. On August 8, 1462, it was destroyed by 
fire and the explosion of the powder magazine. Other 
buildings were also consumed or greatly damaged, 
including the Palace of the Grand Council; of the 
Rector's Palace the ground floor alone remained. Steps 
were at once taken to repair the damage, for which 
purpose the celebrated architects Michelozzo Michelozzi 
of Florence and Giorgio Orsini of Sebenico were com- 
missioned. Of Michelozzo, who had been a sculptor 
and a pupil of Donatello, Vasari says : " In one thing he 
surpassed many, and himself also, namely, that, after 
Brunelleschi, he was acknowledged the most able archi- 
tect of his time, the one who most conveniently ordered 
and disposed the accommodation of palaces, convents, 
and houses, and the one who showed most judgment in 
introducing improvements." He was at Ragusa in 1463 

* Ragusavecchia. 

* De Diversis, as quoted by Graham Jackson, who had seen the MS. 
in the Franciscan library at Ragusa, containing passages not in Brunelli. 


engaged on the town walls, and in 1464 the Senate 
ordered the palace to be rebuilt according to his designs 
(nth February). He left Ragusa in June, and was 
succeeded by Giorgio Orsini of Sebenico. The latter, 
a scion of a branch of the great Roman family of that 
name, which had settled in Dalmatia before coming to 
Ragusa, had helped to rebuild the cathedral of Sebenico. 
The style of his early work had been Gothic, but even 
while at Sebenico he was half converted to Renaissance 
ideas.^ When he came to Ragusa he had adopted them 
completely, and his work on the Palace shows no traces 
of Gothic. Thus we have parts of the building in the 
Gothic style by Onofrio, and parts in that of the 
Renaissance by Orsini and Michelozzo. The earth- 
quake of 1667 did some damage to the upper story, but 
it was soon repaired, and the general character of the 
structure remains practically unaltered. 

The fa9ade consists of two stories, the lower con- 
sisting of a loggia of six round arches between two solid 
structures, while the upper is pierced by eight two-light 
Venetian Gothic windows. The two solid structures 
contain windows, and originally supported square towers, 
of which only the lower parts remain. The capitals of 
the columns in the loggia are partly Gothic and partly 
Renaissance work, while the arches which they support 
are all in the latter style. Examining the capitals in 
detail, we find that the elaborate half column adorned 
with the figure of -ffisculapius is obviously the work 
of Onofrio, and so are the other three outer capitals. 
They are far bolder in design and more perfect in 

^ Jackson, ii. 332, note. 


execution than the three classical ones in the centre. 
The ^sculapius is a very interesting piece of work. It 
represents an old man seated with an open book in his 
hand, a number of alembics, retorts, and other scientific 
instruments by his side, and two men standing beyond, 
one with a fowl in his hand. It is evidently intended to 
represent an alchemist or physician giving advice. The 
capital next to this one is considered by Jackson to be 
the finest of all : ** The tender rigidity of the foliage, 
the delicate pencilling of the fibres, and the just pro- 
portioning of light and shade in this lovely piece of 
sculpture can hardly be surpassed."^ The columns 
themselves are all by Onofrio, and the wall belongs to 
the same period, as is proved by an inscription recording 
the erection of the Palace in 1435. 

The three middle capitals, all the heavy abaci, and 
the round arches which they support are the work of 
Orsini. It is extremely probable that the original arches 
of Onofrio were pointed, but that they and the middle 
capitals were so injured by fire that new ones had to be 
provided, and Orsini, wishing to give the building as 
much of a Renaissance character as possible, built round 
arches in the place of pointed ones. But to do this he 
had to supply the heavy abaci which we now see in the 
place of Onofrio's shallow ones, so as to make the arches 
high enough to support the vaultings. It is curious 
that the upper story, above the restored Renaissance 
arches of the loggia, should belong to the earlier period. 
According to Mr. Graham Jackson, the explanation lies 
in the fact that in the restoration the old materials — 

* Jackson, ii. 336. 


columns and other adornments — which had fallen with- 
out being hopelessly damped were used. The capitals 
of the upper windows are small, but excellent in design. 
Their chief molif is foliage intertwined with faces of 
human beings and lions. Some of them remind us 

distantly of the capitals in the Franciscan cloister, 
although the latter are of course of a much earlier 

Within the loggia are various sculptured ornaments. 
The doorway leading into the courtyard is decorated 
with a little scroll of foliage round the arch, and small 
half-length human figures. The ca^ntals and imposts 


are admirably carved with groups of figures full of 
movement. The impost to the right bears on the front 
face a group of putti or angels playing various musical 
instruments, quite in the style of Michelozzo, while on 
the return face is a group of armed men. Of the left- 
hand impost the front face is adorned with the figures of 
a man and woman embracing each other, a boy standing 
at their side ; and the return face, with a group of dancing 
figures, one of whom is blowing a horn — a curious speci- 
men of perspective. The small brackets whence the 
vaulting springs are also beautifully carved with groups 
of men and animals. The best of these is the one with 
a shepherd boy and a dragon, both full of movement and 
grace, and likewise interesting in perspective. 

All this sculpture is Onofrio's work, and so is the 
Porta della Cariti to the right, otherwise called the 
"Porta e T Officio del Fondico." Here in times of 
famine the poor received their doles of bread, sold below 
cost price or on easy credit. Adjoining is the small 
door leading to the hall of the Minor Council on the 
mezzanine floor. To the right and left of the main 
entrance are rows of carved marble benches. The ones 
to the right are in double tiers, and here on grand 
occasions the Rector would sit with the Minor Council, 
the Archbishop, and, in later times, the Imperial Resi- 
dent. The lower single-tier seats were for the Grand 
Council. The whole loggia was known as " sotto i volti.'* 

The courtyard beyond is a square space surrounded 
by two tiers of round arches. The whole eflFect is grace- 
ful, attractive, and airy. Both the loggie are vaulted, 
but the arches of the upper story are twice as numerous 


as those of the lower. The columns of the latter are of 
plain classical design, with carved capitals and shallow 
abaci, of which the foliage is so simple as to recall 
Romanesque work. The arches are plain and without 
mouldings. The upper arcade is formed by square piers 
of masonry, alternating with twin columns, one behind 
the other. This part of the building is the work of 
Orsini, but on the wall behind the arcades there are 
doors and windows in the pointed style of the earlier 
edifice. Two open-air staircases lead from the courtyard 
to the upper stories. The principal one, to the left of 
the entrance, is poor in design, but the general effect is 
large and stately. The smaller flight to the right leads 
to the little terrace on the mezzanine floor. The latter 
has low round arches, but the balustrade is adorned with 
a Gothic frieze, like that of the seats, "sotto i volti." 
At the head of the stairs is a sculptured capital repre- 
senting the Rector administering justice (the officer here 
is wearing the traditional opankas or sandals still com- 
mon in Dalmatia) ; and opposite is a symbolical female 
figure of Justice, the " quaedam justitiae sculptura " of 
De Diversis, holding a scroll with the words, "Jussi 
summa mei," and two lions. The draperies are flowing, 
and not, I venture to think, at all DUreresque, as Mr. 
Graham Jackson considers. The two lions' heads and 
part of the scroll-work has been very clumsily restored. 
This, again, is Onofrio's work. In this same loggia is a 
sculptured group in a niche representing Samson breaking 
a column, which is probably early quattrocento work, or 
perhaps even of the end of the fourteenth century. 
Here and there are other good fragments of carving. 


The interior calls . for little mention, having been 
completely restored and modernised. There is, how- 
ever, one small room on the ground floor, with a wooden 
ceiling charmingly painted with arabesque designs and 
gilding, dating, I should imagine, from the sixteenth or 
early seventeenth century. Below the small loggia is 
the entrance to the state prisons, very gloomy dungeons 
indeed, in some of which prisoners were walled up alive. 
But the worst cells are those under the theatre — a strange 
contrast ; they are below the level of the sea, and flooded 
at high tide. 

On the whole, the Rector's Palace is the most in- 
teresting and beautiful building in Dalmatia, with the 
exception perhaps of the Romanesque cathedral of 
Trail. Its graceful design, its perfect proportions, and 
its many charming details of stone work make of it a 
worthy rival of many of the famous palazzi pubblici of 
the Italian towns. It bears a strong analogy to the 
Loggia dei Mercanti at Ancona, on which some of the 
same artists were employed. The sculptures, however, 
labour under one disadvantage, viz. they are carved out 
of poor material. The Curzola stone, which is admirable 
for building purposes, for columns, and plain adornments, 
is not quite hard enough for elaborate sculpture, so that 
although the designs of the artists may be admirable, 
the result has sometimes a rough and unfinished appear- 
ance. It would form an interesting speculation to study 
what eflFect the nature of the material had on the artist. 
At Ragusa one certainly longs for the accurate and finished 
work of the Florentines. But nevertheless the Palace of 
Ragusa is in its way a little masterpiece. 


During the Renaissance period a number of new 
churches and chapels were built at Ragusa, the majority 
of them quite small. The most beautiful of these is the 
votive church of San Salvatore, built to commemorate 
the earthquake of 1520. "This shock caused much 
spiritual benefit, for many people confessed their sins, 
and said prayers, and gave alms. Each Sunday the 
Government with all the 
people went in procession 
to implore the Divine 
mercy, and vowed to 
build a church in honour 
of the Saviour, on which 
it was decided to spend 
1500 ducats. . . . For 
the building of it Messer ~-^- 
Daniele di Resti, Messer 
Damiano di Menze, and 
Messer Giunio di Sorgo 
were appointed Prov- 
veditori. These nobles 
raised the cost to more 

than 2500 ducats, and the building proceeded so slowly 
that it was not finished for ten years." ^ It is said that 
noble matrons went barefoot carrying materials for the 
building, but the three noble Provveditori employed 
the masons for their own private houses as well, and 
this caused the delay. The facade is a simple but very 
beautiful specimen of Renaissance architecture, recalling 
that of the Lombardis' church of the Madonna dei Mira- 

■ Anonymous account of Ragusa, quoted by Gelcich, p. 76. 


coll in Venice. Both the fa9ade and the roof are built 
in the same manner as those of the cathedral of Sebenico. 
The interior consists of a nave and rounded apse, divided 
into three bays by classic pilasters. There are some traces 
of Gothic in the vaulting and narrow side windows adorned 
with plain tracery. The cornice is arcaded, but each arch 
contains a Renaissance shell.^ With regard to the author- 
ship of the building, the acts of the Grand Council mention 
architects summoned from Italy in 1520, whose names, 
however, are not given, and one Paduan working at 
Sebenico. The latter seems to have been Bartolommeo 
da Mestre, described in the deeds of a Sebenico notary 
as " protomagister fabricae Sancti Jacobi," who was in 
that town between 15 17 and 1525, but absent at Ragusa 
in 1520. This would explain the similar roof construc- 
tion in the two churches.^ 

Among the other chapels, that of the Santissima 
Annunziata deserves mention. The front is unadorned, 
but in the tympanum of the Gothic doorway is a group 
of three figures in high relief, representing St. John the 
Baptist and two other saints. There is much dignity 
about the figures, but the execution as usual is somewhat 
rough. This chapel and the one next to it, from which 
it is separated by a wall space with a rectangular sixteenth- 
century doorway, are almost under the lee of the town 
walls, which at this point make an abrupt outward curve, 
so as to include the Dominican monastery. 

Close by is the church of St. Luke, with some good 
Renaissance decorations and an elaborate tympanum. 
More important is the church of the Confraterniti del 

^ T. G. Jackson, ii. p. 380. ^ Ibid. 


Rosario, now desecrated and used as a military store- 
house. The interior consists of two naves with a 
colonnade of three arches, and a low, dark story above. 
The capitals are of a handsome classical design with 
good mouldings, but the proportions are bad, the church 
being much too high for its length. 

In the upper part of the town is the interesting little 
chapel of the Sicurata or Trasfigurata, its fa9ade on a 
tiny piazza, almost a courtyard. To reach it one passes 
under an old archway with a fig-tree growing out of it. 
It contains one or two curious paintings. San Niccoli 
in Prijeki, at the end of the street of that name, has a 
Renaissance doorway with Ionic columns and a classical 
pediment, the adornments being very pure and sober; 
the rosette window is of a wheel pattern common at 
Ragusa. The belfry is adorned with excellent mould- 
ings and a twisted stringcourse. The date 1607 over 
the door refers to the restoration, the building being at 
least eighty or a hundred years older, while the little 
figure over the door is still more ancient. 

Outside the walls, a few minutes from the Porta Pile, 
is the tiny Chiesa alle Dance, on a rocky beach by the 
sea, commenced in 1457 as a chapel for the cemetery of 
the poor, as is attested by the following inscription : — 






The west door is a handsome piece of Venetian Gothic 


with mouldings and a sculptured group of the Virgin 
and Child in the tympanum. To the right is another 
group on a font. In the front of the church a plat- 
form spreads out, where a portico must formerly have 
been, as there are the bases of six large piers. 

Of the lay buildings in Ragusa besides the Rector's 
Palace we may mention the clock-tower in the Piazza, 
and the fountain at the Porta Pile. The latter was 
built by Onofrio of La Cava on the completion of his 
great aqueduct, and bears the following inscription : — 


The story of this aqueduct is rather curious. In 
previous times the city was supplied with water from 
cisterns, but in 1437 the Government decided to seek 
for springs in the Gionchetto hills, and invited Onofrio, 
who was as excellent a hydraulic engineer as he was an 
architect, to construct it. The sum of 8000 ducats was 
devoted to the purpose, but before its completion 1 2,000 
were spent. The people began to say that the enterprise 
such as Onofrio had designed it was impossible, and he 
was summoned before the magistrates as an impostor. 
But the evidence of the experts proved favourable to 
him, and he succeeded in completing the work in the 
prescribed time. Nothing remained now to be done 
but to erect a fountain, and the funds were provided 
by public subscription. Of this monument only the 


polygonal basin and a few columns and heads remain. 
The twelve bas-reliefs of the constellations were destroyed 
by the earthquake, and so with one exception were the 
figures of animals round the cornice. Another fountain, 
also by Onofrio, is the very handsome one in the Piazza, 
decorated with putti and shells. 

There are a few private houses at Ragusa of archi- 
tectural pretensions. Those of the Stradone were, as I 
have said, destroyed by the earthquake ; but in the Pri- 
jeki, a street parallel to the Stradone, on the slope of 
the Monte Sergio, there are several picturesque old 
palaces. This thoroughfare is very narrow, and the 
houses are of great height ; many of them are adorned 
with charming Venetian balconies and fragments of 
sculpture. The general prospect of this dark, narrow 
street, lit up here and there by patches of brilliant sun- 
light, showing some vine pergola clinging on to a broad 
balcony, or a many-light window in the purest Venetian 
style, is most striking. One might imagine oneself in 
Venice, until a side street leading up a steep hillside 
tells us that we are not in the city of the lagoons. The 
most remarkable of these houses is the one numbered 
170, which has a fine doorway, with a rectangular en- 
tablature enclosing a pointed arch. In the corners thus 
formed are two centaurs, very spirited and full of move- 
ment, though not quite perfect in drawing. The balcony 
above, which is exceptionally wide in proportion to its 
length, is supported by three carved brackets. The 
beautiful little balcony with marble colonnade on the 
palace numbered 316 is a veritable gem of Venetian 
work. On several other houses there are similar frag- 


ments, and others are to be found elsewhere in the town, 
especially in the streets near the Duomo. The Stradone 
itself is an attractive thoroughfare, broad, airy, and full 
of sun. The houses are plain and unadorned, but the 
rich yellow hue of the Curzola stone of which they are 
built give them a harmonious appearance. The sliops 
to this day are mostly of a very Eastern appearance, the 
door and window being formed of a single round arch 
partly divided by a stone counter which cuts half-way 
across the opening. 

A conspicuous architectural feature of the city b 
its defences. The town walls form a most perfect 
circuit, of a beauty and completeness rarely surpassed, 
even in Italy. From whichever side we approach Ragusa, 
whether from the sea or by the land gates, we are con- 
fronted by an imposing mass of battlemented towers, 
solid bastions, thick walls and escarpments, which con- 
ceal the whole town save the steeples and one or two 
churches. Few cities present such a perfect pictiu'e of a 
mediaeval fortress, and few form so fair a picture — ^this 
cluster of fine buildings on steep precipitous rocks rising 
sheer up out of the azure sea, with the exquisite purple 
hues of the Dalmatian mountains in the background, 
and the bright patches of rich vegetation all around. 
Rarely does one see so admirable a combination of 
strength and beauty. The walls are pierced by three 
gates — the Porta Pile, the Porta Ploce, and the sea gate. 
At the Porta Pile there is a double circuit of walls ; the 
outer gate is a round arch in a semicircular outwork, with 
gun embrasures on either side. To the right the walls 
extend seawards to a massive round bastion, and then up 



the rocky ridge ; to the left they ascend the steep hillside 
to the graceful Torre Menze or Mincfeta, On entering 
this gate the road descends, making a sharp curve, passes 
under a second arch, and opens out into the Stradone. 
This leads straight to the Piazza, where the chief public 
buildings stand. We pass under another arch below 
the clock tower, and reach the Porta Ploce. This 
too is approached by a winding road passing over two 
bridges, one of which was formerly a drawbridge, 
and under several more arches. The solid mass of the 
Dominican church and monastery formed part of the 
defence works. From the road between the Piazza and 
the Porta Ploce the gate opens out on to the quays of 
the harbour. The latter is small, and incapable of 
sheltering large modern steamers, which now always put 
in at the ample port of Gravosa; but it was quite sufficient 
for the famous " argosies '* which visited every known sea 
during the heyday of the Republic. It is protected by the 
huge mass of the Forte Molo and other towers, while the 
pier built by Pasquale di Michele juts out into the sea. 
Large walled-up arches led to the shelters for the galleys 
— " arsenatus galearum domus, in qua triremes pulchrae 
et biremes resident, quibus armatis, cum opus fuerit, 
utuntur Ragusini." ^ 

In other parts of the Republic's territory some few 
buildings of architectural interest survive. At Gravosa 
there are no churches of importance, but some fine 
villas, of which the most remarkable is that of Count 
Caboga ; in the general style of its architecture it recalls 
the loggia of the Rector's Palace. It was at Gravosa 

' De Diversis^ ed. Brunelli, p. 42. 

358 the: republic OF RAGUSA 

that the nobles of Ragusa had their vilUggiatura^ and all 
about among the pleasant groves of the Lapad promon- 
tory or on the banks of the Ombla rose many a stately 
pleasure-house, filled with works of art and books, and 
surrounded by lovely gardens. Most of them, alas ! 
were plundered and burnt during the French wars and 
the Montenegrin invasion, and only a few now remain. 
Other more modern ones have sprung up, some inhabited 
by the descendants of these same noble families, others 
by wealthy merchants who have acquired fortunes in 
America. The villas among the hills at Giochetto and 
Bergato have nearly all been destroyed. 

On the I sola di Mezzo there are two castles, several 
churches and monasteries, and ruins of other edifices. 
The principal church is that of Santa Maria del Biscione, 
on the south side of the island ; it is a fifteenth-century 
building, in the Venetian Gothic style, and contains, 
among other objects, an altar-piece of quaint design — ^a 
group of wooden, painted figures ; according to the local 
tradition they were brought by a native of Mezzo from 
England, where he had bought them from Henry VIII.'s 
private chapel, as that monarch, having become a Pro- 
testant, was selling its effects by auction. But Professor 
Gelcich gives extracts from local records, proving it to 
be seventeenth-century work by one " Magister Urbanus 
Georgii de Tenum Derfort Banakus fabrolignarius." • 
The chancel has a good waggon ceiling of blue panels, 
and some handsome stonework. The Dominican church, 
also in the Italian Pointed style, is dismantled ; its cam- 
panile of the fifteenth century has the "midwall shafts" 

' Gelcich, p. 80. 


of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries.^ In the 
Franciscan monastery, of the same period (1484), there 
are some beautiful Gothic choir-stalls, of which Mr. 
Graham Jackson remarks that it is interesting to find 
that even in this late work the leaves retain *' the crisp 
Byzantine raffling, and are packed within one another 
and fluted quite in the ancient manner, while the little 
capitals of the elbow posts have still more thoroughly 
the look of Byzantine work."* The two castles are 
little more than picturesque ruins, and scattered about 
the islands are the remains of some eighteen or twenty 
chapels ; in the village several houses that once belonged 
to families of position bear traces of carving, Venetian 
balconies and windows, and coats-of-arms. 

At Stagno there are some interesting fortifications of 
the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. This 
position was of great strategic value, as it is a narrow 
isthmus connecting the long peninsula of Sabbioncello 
with the mainland. A large square castle was erected 
at Stagno Grande, looking southwards towards Ragusa, 
another with a round tower at Stagno Piccolo, on the 
north side of the isthmus, and a third at the top of the 
hill between the two. Both towns were surrounded by 
walls ; ' a long wall goes right across the neck of land, and 
another clambers up the hill to the highest of the three 
castles and down the other side to Stagno Piccolo. The 
appearance of these battlemented wails, with towers at 
frequent intervals, is most impressive, and they were a most 
remarkable piece of work for their time. They secured 

' T. G. Jackson, ii. 394. ' Ilnd.y ii. 29$. 

' Those of Stagno Grande have for the most part been pulled down. 


Ragusa from attack, whether from the Venetians at the 
mouths of the Narenta, or from the Slavonic princelings 
of the hinterland, and later from the Turks. Both in 
Stagno Grande and in Stagno Piccolo there are some 
churches and private houses with architectural decora- 
tions. The Franciscan monastery at the former place 
has a cloister in the best Dalmatian style, and in a field 
near the salt-pans is a small church, which may be of the 
Romanesque period. 

It is obvious that Ragusan architecture was strongly, 
indeed prevalently, inspired by Venetian example, both 
in the work which we have called Venetian Gothic and 
in that of the Renaissance period. Although, as a rule, 
the earlier artistic forms survived much longer in Dal- 
matia than in Italy, the Dalmatians showed what Graham 
Jackson calls ''a natural and almost precocious liking 
for the Renaissance style.** Giorgi Orsini*s work at 
Sebenico actually preceded that of Leon Battista Alberti 
at Rimini by nine years. Another peculiarity of Ragusan 
architecture is that the names of so few of the artists 
themselves are preserved, and most of those who are re- 
membered were foreigners. There were doubtless many 
native artists, but Ragusan talent seems to have been 
of a collective rather than an individual character, and 
much of the work was probably done by master-masons, 
stone-cutters, and similar craftsmen, and may have been 
the outcome of the general artistic feeling of the people 
rather than the conception of great masters. 

In painting the Dalmatians were less conspicuous than 
in architecture, and if we except the tradition that Car- 
paccio was a native of Cattaro, we know of no great 


painter of that country. With regard to Ragusa there 
are a few specimens of native art, but hardly a record of 
the life of any painter. Appendini (ii. p. 170) docs not 
know of any Ragusan painter earlier than the fifteenth 
century, but it is probable that some of the pictures in 
the Dominican monastery, which are of an earlier date, 
are by a native brush. Professor Gelcich mentions a 
guild of painters in the sixteenth century with nineteen 
members, all so poor that they had to be subsidised by 
the State. But there is one Ragusan artist whose works 
are preserved, and whose name at least is recorded. This 
is Niccol6 Raguseo, or Nicolaus Ragusinus as he signs 
himself. Several of his paintings may be seen in the 
Dominican monastery and in the Chiesa alle Dance. In 
the latter he is represented by a triptych of very con- 
siderable merit, with a predella and a lunette. The 
middle panel is a group of the Virgin and Child sur- 
rounded by cherubs. The Madonna wears a red robe 
with a cloak of rich cloth-of-gold, on which an elaborate 
pattern is picked out in dark blue. This design is not 
adapted to the folds, but drawn as though on a flat 
surface. The Child is holding some fruit; the cherubs 
have scarlet wings, and in the background is a gilt 
nimbus. At the feet of the Virgin kneels the infant 
St. John, in whose hands is a scroll with the words : 


On the plinth of the throne is another inscription : 




In the right-hand panel is a St. Martin on horseback 
cutting ofF half his cloak to give to a beggar. He is at- 
tired in a green tunic, over which is a golden coat with a 
design picked out in red lines ; the cloak which is being 
cut is of a bright scarlet. In the left-hand panel we see 
St. Gregory holding a crucifix in his hand, with a dove 
on his shoulder; he is attired in pontifical robes — a 
richly embroidered cope of cloth-of-gold adorned with a 
red pattern, and figures of saints in niches along the 
border. Above is a lunette representing the Cruci- 
fixion, with the Virgin, St. Mary Magdalen, St. John, 
and other figures at the foot of the Cross, and some 
cherubs. The robe of the Virgin is of a rich deep blue, 
those of the others red or green. In the background is 
of gold. The predella is divided into three panels; in 
the centre one is a St. George and the Dragon, very 
spirited in composition, and quite in Carpaccio*s manner, 
with a charming pale blue landscape in the background 
and a glimpse of the sea. In the right-hand division 
we see a saint receiving a mitre from two bishops, and 
surrounded by other bishops, monks, choir-boys, &c. 
To the left a pope in a golden robe is being crowned by 
two cardinals ; all round is a host of cardinals, bishops, 
Dominicans and Franciscans, and behind a landscape 
with smaller figures. The faces are all very pale, and 
somewhat northern in character, but those of the Virgin 
and Child in the principal panel are of great tenderness 
and feeling. In the colouring lies the chief merit of the 
picture; it is indeed exceptionally rich and brilliant, 
especially in the robes, which are characteristic of the 
painter's work. The whole is enclosed in a handsome 


carved frame, divided by pillars into compartments. 
The groundwork of this frame is dark blue, with 
designs picked out in gold, and adorned with arabesques 
of a good Renaissance pattern. 

On the high altar of this same church is another 
picture, also attributed to Raguseo. It contains figures 
of the Virgin and Child, St. Nicholas, St. George, St. 
Blaize, and St. Francis. It is altogether inferior to the 
one on the north wall, in a much worse state of preserva- 
tion, and almost hidden under silver ornaments, plaques, 
ex-votos, and artificial flowers. 

In the Dominican church there are quite a number 
of early pictures, some of them evidently the work of 
Raguseo. To the right of the high altar is a large 
triptych, with St. Stephen the Protomartyr in the centre, 
St. James and St. Mary Magdalen to the right, St. 
Nicholas and St. John the Baptist to the left. The 
St. Stephen is seen absolutely full face, looking straight 
out of the picture, with an expression of calmness and 
benevolence. The Magdalen has also a very sweet 
look, and is beautifully painted. The robes, as in the 
Dance pictures, are all very rich and splendid, espe- 
cially that of St. Stephen, which is of gold, with the 
pattern diapered in dark lines and adorned with figures 
of saints along the border. 

To the left of the high altar is another triptych in the 
same style : the Virgin and Child, the former with a lily 
in her hand and the moon lying at her feet, surrounded 
by cherubs, in the centre ; St. Paul and St. Blaize to the 
right; St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine to the 
left. The St. Blaize bears in his hands an interesting 


model of Ragusa, in which one can make out three large 
towers and several small ones. The gold background 
has been restored, and is rather too garish. 

In a side chapel is yet another Ragueso — a Madonna 
and Child, supported by St. Julian, St. James, St. 
Dominic, and St. Matthew. The drawing is bold and 
strong, perhaps more so than in any of the artist's other 
works, and some of the faces, especially that of the 
Child, very fascinating: the robes, as usual, are magni- 
ficent. That of the Virgin forms a curiously stiiF plat- 
form, on which the infant Christ is standing. Below 
are two little angels, one holding a lily and the 
other roses. In the background is a faint suggestion 
of landscape. Unfortunately, the lower part of the 
picture has been barbarousl]^ mutilated to make room 
for a window. 

These, with the possible exception of one or two 
more paintings in the Isola di Mezzo, are the only known 
works of this artist. Who he was, what was his story, 
where he worked, remain a mystery. From the date 
on the Dance triptych we learn that he flourished at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century, and it is fairly certain 
that he must have studied in Italy. His style distinctly 
shows traces of the influence of Crivelli*s school, and in 
this, as in other arts, the Dalmatians continued to work 
in the older manner long after it had been abandoned in 
Italy. Professor Gelcich doubts if this painter were really 
a native of Ragusa at all, arguing that if he had been he 
would not have called himself Rhagusinus in his own 
city. It is of course unusual (though not unheard of) 
that an artist should call himself by the name of his own 


town while actually living in it ; but in this case he may 
have done so because the Ragusans were so used to having 
their pictures painted by foreigners, that when a native of 
the town actually painted them the fact was worthy of 
being especially recorded. But it is mere conjecture, as 
there is no mention of him or of his work in any known 
document. Perhaps some day a record of his life may be 
found in some forgotten MS., or obscure municipal entry, 
or in the list of the pupils of some Venetian master. 
Professor Eitelberger says that these pictures " bear some 
resemblance to certain paintings in the Marca of Ancona ; 
it is not impossible, however, that even from Apulia some 
influence may have reached the Ragusan painters, but we 
have too little information to enable us to express an 
opinion as to the connection between the Ragusan school 
and that of Italy.'* ^ 

Appendini says nothing about Raguseo, although 
he speaks of some other native artists whose works are 
nearly all lost. It will be sufficient to recall the names 
of Pietro Grguricf-Ohmutevic, who painted some pictures 
at Sutjeska^ and flourished about 1482; Vincenzo di 
Lorenzo, who in 15 10 decorated a church and monastery 
at Trebinje ; Biagio Darsa, author of a pictorial globe 
and some studies of perspective ; and Francesco da Ragusa, 
one of whose works is said to be in Rome, and another at 
Brescia (i 600-1 620). We may also mention the hand- 
some altar in the Franciscan sacristy, the work of a 
painter and a sculptor, both unknown ; it is constructed 
in the form of a press or cabinet, and is adorned with some 
excellent gilt carving and a number of paintings, of which 

^ Eitelberger von Edelberg, op. cit^ iv. 357- * In the Herzegovina. 


the most important is a Resurrection of Christ. Inter- 
nally it is also painted, but by a later hand. 

There are at Ragusa several pictures by foreign 
painters, but with few exceptions they are of little merit. 
The most interesting is undoubtedly the small triptych 
in the cathedral by a Flemish artist, which was carried 
by the Ragusan ambassadors when they went to Con- 
stantinople with the tribute to the Sultan as a portable 
altar. The subject is the Adoration of the Magi. In 
the centre panel the Virgin is seated with the Child on 
her lap : He is kneeling and extending His right hand 
to the oldest of the kings, who has placed his sceptre 
and gifts at the feet of the Saviour; behind Him is 
another king also offering gifts, and through the arches 
at the back one sees a landscape. On the left-hand wing 
stands the third king, a Moor, and behind him is a group 
of figures and a landscape. On the right is a bald- 
headed man in a rich robe, probably the donor, with a 
castle in the background. This work is undoubtedly 
of the Flemish school, and, according to Eitelberger,^ is 
reminiscent of Memling. " The technique,** he says, 
" is extraordinarily careful, and the picture, in spite of 
having been damaged by wax candles, is yet so well pre- 
served that it needs only the hand of a good restorer for 
it to make a great impression even on the uninitiated. 
The head of the Virgin has an expression of lovingness 
and purity such as is peculiar to the Flemish school alone/' 
As to how it found its way to Ragusa we know nothing. 
Eitelberger conjectures that it must have come from 
Naples, as the Republic was in constant intercourse with 

1 op, ciL^ iv. 317. 


that city, which in its turn had connections with Flan- 
ders, and the Neapolitan painters were greatly under the 
influence of Flemish art. But it is quite possible that it 
came direct from the Low Countries to Ragusa, where, 
as we have seen, there was a colony of Flemish merchants. 

Of the other foreign paintings at Ragusa the follow- 
ing deserve notice : a head of Christ by Pordenone ; a 
head of St. Catherine by Palma Vecchio ; four pictures 
by Padovanino of second-rate interest ; an Assumption 
of the Virgin attributed to Titian, but certainly not 
genuine, though possibly by a pupil ; a spurious Andrea 
del Sarto, and an equally spurious Raphael. All these 
are in the Duomo. In the Dominican church is a 
St. Mary Magdalen, attributed to Titian, and probably 
that master^s genuine work. One or two more Titians 
of very questionable authenticity may be seen at the 
Isola di Mezzo and at Cannosa. 

A form of art which flourished exceedingly at Ragusa 
was goldsmith^swork. The goldsmiths and silversmiths of 
Dalmatia were famous, and many of the church treasuries 
in the country are very rich and splendid. That of the 
cathedral of Ragusa is one of the finest, in spite of the 
earthquake and the depredations of the freebooters after 
that calamity. Its two most interesting pieces, however, 
are not by natives of Ragusa. One is an enamelled 
casket enclosing the skull of St. Blaize. The ground- 
work of copper is concealed by twenty-four plaques of 
metal, on which enamel and filigree are laid; each of 
them, save four triangular plaques on the top, contains 
a medallion with the head of a saint in the centre, the 
name written in Lombardic letters. The surface not 


covered by the plaques is filled in with the most delicate 
enamels of flowers, fruit, leaves, pearls, insects, and 
scroll work. This reliquary is said by Resti to have 
been brought to Ragusa in 1026, but Graham Jackson 
proves it to belong to two widely diflFerent periods. The 
medallions are Byzantine work of the eleventh or twelfth 
century, whereas the intervening scrolls of flowers, &c., 
are of a much later date, and, in fact, Jackson discovered 
the inscription in a corner of the lower edge : " Fran**. 
Ferro Venet°. F. A. 1694." ^ 

Another treasure is the curious silver-gilt basin and 
ewer attributed to Giovanni Progonovi6, a jeweller of the 
fifteenth century, but more probably foreign work, as the 
plate mark — an N within a circle — is not thit of Ragusa.^ 
The ewer contains imitations of bunches of dried leaves 
and grasses in silver, and the basin is strewn with ferns and 
leaves, in the midst of which creep lizards, eels, snakes, 
and other animals, all wrought in silver, and enamelled 
and tinted so as to deceive one into believing them real. 
It is an extraordinary piece of work, but more strange than 
beautiful. It is probably not older than the early seven- 
teenth century. There are many other specimens of the 
jeweller^s art in this collection, reliquaries, chalices, cups, 
&c., mostly by natives, and some of them very handsome. 

The little silver statuette of St. Blaize in the church 
of that saint is interesting historically as well as artisti- 
cally, because the figure bears a model of the town 
before the great earthquake. The head is excellent both in 
expression and workmanship, and the exquisitely chased 

^ For a more detailed description, see Graham Jackson, vol ii. p. 354. 

* Ibid,^ ii. p. 356. 


chasuble reminds one of the robes in Raguseo*s paintings. 
The original figure is, according to Graham Jackson, as 
old as the church, i.e. about 1360, but it has been 
restored at various times. The mitre, the crook of the 
pastoral stafF, and the dalmatic have been renewed, while 
the lower part of the statuette has evidently been cut 
away. The model shows us the Ragusa of the four- 
teenth or fifteenth century, not very different from that 
of to-day, save for the Duomo and the church of San 
Biagio, which have been rebuilt, and the little church of 
the Three Martyrs of Cattaro in the Stradone, which 
has disappeared. Many of the houses in that street 
have gabled fronts and some have projecting pents to 
shelter the shops. The Orlando column supports a huge 

At Mezzo is preserved some church plate, of which 
the most beautiful piece is a large silver-gilt chalice. 
On the foot is a figure of St. Blaize in relief, and on the 
lower part of the cup are the emblems of the four 
Evangelists. The handles are formed by two graceful 
little angels poised with one foot on the top and the 
other hanging in the air, their hands clinging on to the 
edge of the cup. The hall-mark — a bishop*s head — is 
that of Ragusa, and the chalice is probably Mezzo work, 
the island having been famous for its goldsmiths. Many 
other specimens of this art exist in the various churches 
of Ragusa and the neighbourhood, and some perhaps 
may be found in those of other parts of Dalmatia, and 
in the monasteries of Bosnia, the Herzegovina, and 

2 A 



OWING to her position between the Italian and 
Slavonic elements, and her connections with 
Venice and with the Serb States, Ragusan 
literature was of a twofold, or indeed of a threefold, 
nature. There were Ragusans who wrote in Latin, 
others in Italian, and others in Slavonic. But so mixed 
was the character of the people that in many instances 
the same author composed works in all the three 
languages. '^Dalmatia, and especially Ragusa, which 
represents the highest degree of Slavonic culture, shows 
at the end of the Middle Ages a peculiar and character- 
istic blend of Italian and Slavonic elements, which even 
to-day is a remarkable trait of this people.'* * Venetian 
influence strengthened the original Latin element of the 
population, and most of the nobles had Italian names, 
although later these were given a Slavonic form as well. 
Thus Gondola is sometimes written Gundulic, Palmota 
Palmotic, Bona Bunic, &c. The collapse of Venetian 
power in Dalmatia in 1358 opened the way to Slavonic 
influences, for Hungary was too alien to the Dalmatians 
to impress more than her political sovereignty on them. 
But Latin and Italian culture was maintained by the side 

^ Puipin und Spasowicz, Geschichte der Slawischen Literatur^ vol. ii. 

p. 224. 



of that of the Slaves, and indeed the Slavonic literature 
at Ragusa was wholly inspired by that of Italy. 

" Under the influence of peculiar historical conditions 
there arose on the Serbo-Croatian littoral an important 
poetical literature, of which Ragusa was the centre, and 
the pure vernacular the organ." ^ It had, however, no 
connection with the old Slavonic tradition or the Servian 
popular songs, but was based almost exclusively on Italian 
influences, for Ragusan culture was purely of Italian 
origin, and the conditions utterly unlike those of the 
people of the neighbouring Slavonic States. The literary 
movements and forms of Italy were all reflected at 
Ragusa, and thus we find specimens of Latin ecclesiastical 
literature, of the Provencal troubadours, of Renaissance 
culture and the revival of learning. In the Ragusan 
epic Italian influence is conspicuous, and also in the 
native lyric poetry, which is chiefly inspired from 
Petrarch*s Canzoni ; while the Ragusan dramas are 
imitated from the mediaeval mystery plays, the pastoral 
plays of Tasso, and Italian popular comedies. Even the 
so-called "macaronic" verses were adopted at Ragusa, 
i.e. a medley of dog-Latin and Slavonic. The outward 
forms of Italian literary life were copied no less than 
literary styles, and learned literary academies were estab- 
lished at Ragusa, where men of culture met to discuss 
their favourite topics. The city came to be known as 
the "Slavonic Athens." Learned Italians were invited 
to lecture at Ragusa, for the Senate maintained chairs 
of Italian and Latin literature since the early fifteenth 
century. The study of Greek had been to some extent 

^ Puipin und Spasowicz, ibid. 


kept up owing to the old Byzantine tradition, and it was 
now promoted by the influx of learned Greeks who took 
refuge at Ragusa after the fall of Constantinople. On 
the other hand, many Ragusans went abroad, especially 
to Italy, for purposes of study, and some of them 
achieved considerable fame in various spheres of life, 
such as Stoicus or Stoikovi^ one of the most celebrated 
theologians of the fifteenth century, and Anselmo 
Banduri, the archaeologist. 

The Ragusan poets who wrote in Latin may be dis- 
missed in a few words. The most celebrated of them 
was Elio Cerva, who went to Rome in 1476 at the age 
of sixteen, where he studied the humanities, and joined 
the Quirinal academy. He Latinised his name according 
to the fashion of the time into -flElius Lampridius Cer- 
vinus, and two years later he was crowned Poet-laureate. 
He soon returned to Ragusa, married, and determined to 
devote his life to the public service, but on the death of 
his wife he took Holy Orders, and spent most of his 
time at Ombla. He died in 1520. He was much ap- 
preciated by his contemporaries, especially by Sabellicus 
and Palladius Fuscus. His chief compositions are an 
elegy on his retreat at Ombla, another on the tomb of 
Cicero's daughter, and a number of odes, epigrams, and 

Another Latin poet of some reputation was Giovanni 
Gozze. He was employed by the Republic on various 
embassies, in the course of which he made the acquunt- 
ance of a number of statesmen and men of letters, among 
others that of the celebrated Agnolo Poliziano. To the 
latter he afterwards sent some of his own works, and 


Poliziano^s letter of thanks, in which he expresses ad- 
miration for the poems, is published, together with his 
other epistles. Giovanni Bona, who died in I534> was 
the author of several poems of a religious character 
Niccol6 Bratutti (i 564-1632) of Mezzo was made 
Bishop of Sarsina in Italy, but was afterwards im- 
prisoned, during which period he began to write 
religious poems. These were published in 1630 under 
the title of Martyrologium Poeticum Sanctorum Totius 
Italia. The name of Stefano Gradi may also be 
mentioned as the author of sundry works in Latin on 
philosophy, epistles, poems, &c. He did much for 
the relief of his fellow-citizens at the time of the 
earthquake, and was instrumental in obtaining help 
from the Pope and other foreign potentates. He died 
in 1683. 

Far more important is the Slavonic literature of 
Ragusa, Slavonic, as I have said, only in language, but 
Italian in character. The first Ragusan to write verse in 
the vernacular was §isko Men^etid or Sigismondo Menze 
(H5 7-' 501)1 who may be called the father of Ragusan 
poetry. His compositions were chiefly love lyrics of the 
Proven9al troubadour character, a form introduced into 
Ragusa through the Republic's connection with the 
Spanish court of Naples. His canzoniere is entitled 
Pjesni Ljuvesne} Of a similar character are the poems 
of Gjore Drii<5 (died 15 10), and those of Hannibal 
Luci6 or Lucio (1480- 1540), author of a play called 

^ This, as well as the Slavonic works of other Ragusans, is published 
at Agram in the collection called Stari Pisci Htvatski (Old Croatian 


Robinjay or the Slave girl, of which the subject is an 
episode of the Turkish wars.^ He also wrote an ode in 
praise of Ragusa, of which the following is an extract : 
" My songs cannot in any way tell of all the lands with 
which the famous Ragusa trades. Over mountains and 
through forests, all the world over, does she send her 
merchants without let or hindrance, through lands where 
the sun shines from afar, where it burns moderately, and 
where it blazes overmuch. All receive the wares which 
they peacefully bring, and what is given in exchange 
they peacefully carry away. Worthy is the city that 
she should everywhere be praised, that God and men 
should bless her ! *' 

Nikola Vetranic-CavCi6 (1482-1576) was much ad- 
mired as a poet. He belonged to a noble Ragusan 
family, and was abbot of a monastery, but later in life 
he retired to a hermitage on a small island off the coast, 
where he continued to write poetry and keep up his 
intercourse with literary friends. His Sacrifice of Abror- 
ham is considered one of the best of the Slavonic mystery 
plays, for it contains really artistic presentations of 
character and situations, while some of the episodes 
begin to resemble Servian popular poetry. In a poem 
called Rtmetay or the Hermit, he describes his island 
retreat, and in the Putnik (the Wanderer) Ragusan 
scenery. His Italija is an ode to Italy, in which he 
shows that the Ragusans considered themselves almost 
Italians, for he hopes that her ancient glory may return 

^ In this, as in other works by Ragusans^ no animus against the 
Turk is displayed. He was regarded by the Ragusans as a law of 
nature rather than as an enemy, and a wholesome fear made them 
careful to avoid doing or even saying anything to offend him. 

Giovanni Gositoij. 
iFrvm lie Galleria di /fagutei JIIhiM) 


to Italy, and that she will remain independent of the 
heathen (the Turlcs), and that neither the Eagle nor the 
Cock (the Empire and France) will do her any harm, 
and he wishes her freedom and unity. Vetranic is also 
the author of a translation of the Hecuba of Euripides. 
Andrija Cubranovii (died about 1550), unlike the other 
poets mentioned, was a man of the people. His best 
known poem is the J^gjupka^ or the Gipsy.^ It seems to 
have been a carnival song, and recalls some of the Italian 
Canti Carnascialeschi. It is said to have been publicly 
recited at Ragusa in 1527, and is considered remarkable 
for the purity of the language. 

A form of literature much in vogue at Ragusa was 
the pastoral play or idyll, based on Italian models. The 
Slavonic pastoral play is of two types, that of Ragusa, 
which is comic, and that of Lesina, which is more purely 
idyllic. The mathematician and astronomer Nikola 
Naljeskovic (15 10-1587) achieved some poetic fame as 
a writer of these plays, in which the shepherd falls in 
love not with the classical nymph, but with the vila of 
South-Slavonic popular legend. Another writer of plays 
was Marino Driic, praised by his Italian contemporaries 
for " il puro vago e dolce canto." His principal works 
are Tirena^ Dundo Maroje^ and Novela od Stanca (the 
tale from Stanac). He also wrote sacred poems. 

Dinko Ranjina or Domenico Ragnina (1536--1607) 
was the most famous Ragusan poet of the sixteenth 
century. Born of one of the noblest families in the town, 
he spent some years in Italy attending to his father s 

* Published at Venice in 1599. ' Venice, 1547, 1550. 

' Hnd,y 1550. 


business. Subsequently he returned home and entered 
the service of the Republic, and was elected Rector 
several times. His poems are chiefly love lyrics ; but 
he also wrote epistles, didactic poems, and idylls in the 
classical Renaissance manner, as well as translations from 
Tibullus, Propertius, and Martial. 

Dinko Zlataric (i 556-1 510), also a noble, studied 
at Padua, and at the age of twenty-three was appointed 
Rector of the University gymnasium. Thence he went 
to Agram, and then home to Ragusa. He translated 
Tasso's Aminta under the title of Ljubomir^ the Electra 
of Sophocles, and the episode of Pyramus and Thisbe 
from Ovid, and is the author of a number of love idylls 
and didactic poems. With his name is coupled that of 
Floria Zuzzeri, a Ragusan lady renowned for her beauty 
and her virtue, also a poetess of distinction, whom he 
adored. She had been the centre of a little circle of 
literary ladies at Ragusa until her father took her to 
Ancona on business. There she married Bartolommeo 
Pescioni, a wealthy Florentine, in 1577. She settled in 
Florence, where she kept a salon frequented by many 
famous Italian authors and dilettanti, and also by 
Ragusans, such as the aforesaid Zlatari6, Ragnina, and 
Giovanni Gondola. She wrote sonnets both in Italian 
and Slavonic, some of which became famous throughout 
Italy. She died in 1600. 

The most celebrated of all the Ragusan poets is Ivan 
Gundulic or Giovanni Gondola (158 8- 1638). Very 
little is known of his life beyond the fact that he studied 
the classics, philosophy, and law, and that he was a great 
admirer of Italian literature. He desired to introduce 


the harmony of Italian verse into Illyrian, and to purify 
that language. He preferred the style of Tasso, which 
he closely imitated, to that of Petrarch, till then the 
fa\rourite model of Ragusan poets. Instead of a line of 
ten, eleven, twelve, or thirteen syllables, he adopted that 
of eight, in rhymed strophes, which he deemed more 
fluid and vigorous, capable of expressing feelings with 
greater power, and more in accordance with the genius of 
the language. His first essay was a translation of Tasso's 
Gerusalemme^ after which he devoted himself to the 
drama, composing or translating from the Italian a num- 
ber of plays, which he and a circle of literary friends 
produced on the stage. The chief of these are Du- 
bravka^ Arijadnay Armida^ and Galatea. But the work on 
which his fame chiefly rests, and is regarded as the most 
important composition in the Servian language, is the 
Osman^ an epic in twenty cantos. The subject is the 
war between Turkey and Poland, and the fall of the 
Sultan Osman after his defeat. The Polish victory of 
Koczim in 1621 forces the Turks to make peace, and 
the action of the poem begins at this moment. After 
the defeat of the Turks Osman deplores the disaster and 
attributes it to the decadence of the Ottomans, and pro- 
poses a number of reforms. He orders the arrest of his 
uncle Mustafa, who had already usurped the throne 
once, sends Ali to Warsaw to sue for peace, and Cislar to 
the provinces to find a number of fair damsels, from 
among whom he will choose the Sultana, and orders that 
the Polish prisoner. Prince Koreski, immured in the 
Castle of the Seven Towers, shall be carefully watched. 
Ali goes through Moldavia, where he finds Kronoslava, 


Koreski's wife, attired as a warrior, and tells her of the 
imprisonment of her husband. She resolves to go to 
Constantinople in disguise to obtain his ransom. The 
Poles celebrate the anniversary of the victory of Koczim, 
when Prince Ladislas of Poland has an encounter with 
Sokolica, the daughter of the Grand Mogul, and her 
amazons ; he captures them, but out of admiration for 
their courage sets them free, and they return to Con- 
stantinople. AH reaches Warsaw and enters the Royal 
Palace, where he notes the splendour of the court and 
sees the tapestries representing the battle of Koczim, 
here described in detail. He concludes the treaty of 
peace and returns home. Cislar has collected a number 
of maidens from Greece, Macedonia, and the Archi- 
pelago, and goes to the borders of Moldavia to cap- 
ture Danica, the daughter of Prince Ljubidrag, who, 
having lost his estates, is living in a rural retreat. While 
he and his friends are performing rustic games, Cislar 
and his companions arrive and carry off Danica. Satan, 
enraged at the victories of the Christians, summons his 
demons, and flies with them to Constantinople to raise 
trouble. There, too, Kronoslava has arrived in search 
of her husband ; she is told that he is in love with the 
daughter of the governor of the prison, and although not 
quite convinced, she begins to feel jealous. By bribery 
she manages to see Prince Koreski, is convinced of his 
fidelity, and falls into his arms. The Sultan soon after- 
wards sets him free, and he returns home with his wife. 
Cislar appears with his fair captives, but Osman, seeing 
Danica's despair and hearing her story, sends her back to 
her father. Sokolica, too, comes to Constantinople, and 


Osman chooses her as first Sultana, and marries two 
Greek maidens as well. He then prepares for an expe- 
dition to Asia against the rebels, but the Janissaries 
revolt, and demand the heads of Dilaver Pasha the 
Grand Vizir, of the Hodja, and of the chief eunuch. 
The rebellion spreads, the Grand Vizir is murdered, and 
Osman's uncle Mustafa freed and proclaimed Sultan. 
While Osman is deploring his misfortunes and recalling 
the glories of his ancestors, he, too, is assassinated by 
Mustafa's orders. 

This poem, although not of first-rate quality, has 
some originality, and is interesting from its subject. It 
is only at Ragusa that a Christian writer would have 
made a Turkish Sultan his hero, and it is only here and 
there that a few passages are introduced reflecting un- 
favourably on the Turks. A great deal of it is simply 
an adaptation of Tasso, and whole passages are translated 
from that work. It is full of repetitions and exaggera- 
tions and useless accessories, but it also contains many 
passages of real beauty and feeling, such as the address to 
Ragusa : ^^ O mayest thou ever live peaceful and free as 
thou art now, O white city of Ragusa, famous through- 
out the world, pleasing to the heavens. . . . Bondmen 
are thy neighbours, oppressive violence grinds them all 
down, thy power alone sits on the throne of freedom " 
(Canto viii.). Gondola also apostrophises Stephen 
Du§an, the Nemanjas, Marko Kraljevic, and other 
Servian heroes. Cantos xiv. and xv. were lost, and 
have been rewritten by Petar Sorkotevid, Marino Zlat- 
aric, and Ivan Mai^uranic. The interest is divided 
between the two heroes, Osman and Ladislas, and a 


great deal of the work is lyrical rather than epic in 

Of the prose writers of this time, the one most 
deserving of notice is Mauro Orbini, who died in 1601. 
His chief work, which is written in Italian, is entitled 
Storia del Regno degli Slavi. It is of no great historic 
value, but it is important as being the first attempt to 
deal with the history of all the Slaves as a comprehensive 
whole. Other historians are Niccol6 Ragnina, author of 
the Annali di Ragusa^ Giacomo Luccari, whose Copioso 
Ristretto degli Annali di Ragusa contains much interesting 
information about the constitution of the Republic, and 
Giunio Resti, author of the very detailed Cronaca Ragusina^ 
in thirteen books, a most unreliable work. None of these 
writers have shown any conspicuous qualities as historians 
of their native city, being inspired by a strong political 
bias, and are only to be consulted with caution. 

Ragusa gave birth to several men of science, of 
whom two deserve to be remembered — Marino Ghetaldi 
and Ruggiero Boskovic.* Ghetaldi was born in 1566, 
and studied in Rome and Paris. After travelling about 
Europe he obtained the professorship of mathematics 
at Louvain. He subsequently returned to Ragusa, and 
served in the Government offices. In summer he would 
retire to his villa by the sea to meditate and make 
experiments in a cave on his estates. He was regarded 
by the people as a magician, and his experiments in 
setting fire to boats out at sea by means of mirrors and 

^ Several editions of the Osman have been published, and Appendini 
translated it into Italian. 
^ Also spelt Boscovich. 


burning-glasses were considered quite diabolical. He 
wrote Promotus Archimedes^ seu de vartis corporum generibus 
gravitate et magnitudine comparatis (Rome, 1603), and 
many other mathematical works. He is said to have 
applied geometry to algebra before Des Cartes, and to 
have been the first to discover equations of the fourth 
degree. He died in 1627. Boskovid was born in 171 1, 
and became a Jesuit at an early age. He obtained the 
professorship of mathematics in Rome, and measured 
the meridian between Rome and Rimini with the Eng- 
lishman Maire. He made a map of the Papal States, 
and wrote a work on the molecular theory of matter, 
Theoria Philosophic Naturalis redacta ad unicam Legem 
Virium in Natura existentium. In 1759 he was sent to 
England on a diplomatic mission, where he made the 
acquaintance of Dr. Johnson, and was elected Fellow 
of the Royal Society, to whom he dedicated his Latin 
poem De Solis et Luna Defectus. He afterwards tra- 
velled in Turkey for scientific purposes, ^nd was then 
appointed Professor of Mathematics at Pavia (1764) and 
Director of the Brera Observatory. His vanity and 
egoism made him many enemies, and in 1770 he left 
Italy for Paris, where he was made Director of Optics 
to the Ministry of Marine, an office which he held for 
ten years. In 1783 he returned to Italy and published 
all his works. His health was failing, his reputation on 
the wane, and he soon fell into melancholy and madness, 
and died in 1787. Besides other works, he wrote the 
Elementa Universe MathesoSy published in 1754. 



RAGUSA now enters into the vortex of the Napo- 
leonic wars, in which she, like her great rival 
Venice and many another still more powerful 
State, was to disappear. The story of her end is but 
an incident in that wonderful drama, but it affords some 
curious side-lights on the history of Europe at that period, 
and exhibits for the last time the peculiar character of the 
Ragusan Government and people. 

In 1797 the French armies occupied Venice, put an 
end to the Republic, and annexed its possessions, while a 
French fleet seized the Ionian Islands. In the mean- 
while Austrian troops were advancing into Dalmatia, 
which, as part of Venetian territory, in theory belonged 
to France, and ships of war of all nations began to appear 
in the Adriatic. The aristocratic Government of Venice 
was for a time succeeded by a democratic one modelled 
on French lines, and the new regime was to have been 
applied to Dalmatia as well. But by the preliminaries 
of Leoben that province and Istria were given over to 
Austria. The Dalmatians did not want a democratic 
constitution, and for some time Austrian agents had 
been preparing them for an Austrian occupation. They 
succeeded in inducing the people to acclaim the Emperor 

Francis II. as their King, and in July 1797 General 



Rukavina landed at Zara with an army ; in a few weeks he 
had occupied the whole of Dalmatia and part of Albania. 
But trouble arose at Cattaro among the turbulent Boc- 
chesi; some of them favoured the Austrian rigime as 
the heir to that of Venice, others, chiefly Orthodox 
Christians, desired a union then, as now, with the Vladika 
of Montenegro, while a third party was imbued with 
French ideas and clamoured for a democratic constitu- 
tion. The Vladika himself was hostile to Austria, and 
encouraged a rising in Albania. But General Rukavina 
conciliated the Cattarini and entered the town without 
opposition. By the Peace of Campoformio, Istria, Dal- 
matia, and Cattaro, as well as Venice and her mainland 
possessions, were ceded to Austria (October 18, 1797).^ 

The fall of Venice was on the whole satisfactory to 
the Ragusans, but the close proximity of the Austrians, 
who were useful protectors so long as they remained at a 
safe distance, was regarded as a danger. They sent pro- 
testations of fealty to Vienna and to the local Austrian 
authorities ; their fears were not groundless, for Rukavina 
did actually intend to violate their neutrality, as appears 
from a despatch from the Austrian Minister Count Thugut 
to Count Thum, who had been appointed Governor of 
Dalmatia. Thugut disapproved of this project, as he 
feared that it might cause trouble with the Turks as pro- 
tectors of the Republic. But he complained to d'Ajala, 
the Ragusan Minister, that Ragusa was a hotbed of 
revolutionary ideas.* The Emperor, however, expressed 
his intention of protecting the Republic in every way. 

^ Pisani, La Dalmatie de 1797 ^ 181 5, pp. 33 sgg, 

^ Ibid,^ pp. 125-126. 


At the end of October a French squadron under 
Brueys appeared at Gravosa, and the Admiral offered 
the Republic the " good offices ** of France, which were 
politely declined on the ground that Ragusa was under 
Turkish suzerainty. In August 1798 the French mili- 
tary authorities demanded the loan of some ships for the 
expedition to Egypt, and the request was granted. This 
caused General Brady, in command of the Austrians at 
Cattaro, to reprimand the Senate severely for its breach 
of neutrality, and he had to be appeased by a loan of 
12,000 florins for his war chest. A short time after- 
wards a French agent named Briche came to Ragusa to 
raise a loan of 1,000,000 francs for France, and by means 
of threats induced the Senate to pay 400,000 down and 
issue two bills for 100,000 each. Austrian spies dis- 
covered this transaction, and informed their Government 
that the young men of Ragusa were imbued with French 
ideas. But the Senate cleverly protested against this 
forced contribution both in Vienna and in Constanti- 
nople, and suggested that the most adequate protection 
against similar extortions would be the presence of a few 
British frigates in the Adriatic. Caracciolo, their agent 
at Naples, opened negotiations with the British Minister 
for the purpose. At the same time their agent in Paris 
tried to obtain the remission of the bills, but without 
success, and the 200,000 francs had to be paid to Dubois, 
the French Commissary in the Adriatic. Another mis- 
fortune befell the Republic, which had a large sum of 
money invested in the Bank of Vienna. As the Em- 
peror was again going to war the Bank made a call on 
the shareholders of 30 per cent, of their capital. Ragusa 


tried to shirk this payment, but in vain, and somehow | 

the sum was procured. To meet these liabilities new ] 

taxes had to be raised, which fell chiefly on the peasants, 

hitherto almost exempt ; the price of salt was increased, 

and every one was forced to buy a large amount of that 

commodity. This caused serious discontent, especially 

among the peasants of Canali, who had never been too 

loyal to the Republic; they now refused to pay the 

taxes, and rose in revolt. Eight Senators, who owned 

land in that district, went to try to induce them to hear 

reason, and this mission having failed, the Pasha of 

Trebinje was asked to place a corps of observation along 

the frontier to prevent the rebels from crossing over into 

Turkish territory, while General Brady was asked to send 

an Austrian detachment to help to quell the revolt, 

expressly requesting that they should be Germans, and 

not ex- Venetian soldiers. Brady, however, had too 

few troops to dispose of, and no authority to enter 

Ragusan territory. At the same time a deputation of 

Canalesi called on him and explained their grievances 

and the persecutions inflicted by the Ragusans, which 

they attributed to the fact "that they (the Canalesi) 

had refused to follow the nobles in their Jacobin ideas." 

This was enough for Brady, to whom the very name of 

Jacobin was anathema; he at once took the Canalesi 

under his protection, and wrote to the Senate demanding 

that their grievances should be redressed. The Canalesi 

also sent a memorandum to the Emperor of Austria, 

complaining of the increase of the taxes since 1750, of 

the kidnapping of boys to serve on board Ragusan ships, 

and of girls to be used by the nobles for illicit purposes, 

2 B 


and imploring him to free them from Ragusa's yoke and 
take them under his protection. At the same time the Re- 
public sent two envoys to Vienna to explain the situation 
from the Ragusan point of view, and to represent Brady 
as an accomplice of the Turks and the schismatics and a 
protector of rebels; and also an envoy to the Divan, 
to say that Austria was meditating an invasion of the 
Herzegovina.^ The Emperor ordered Brady to pacify the 
insurgents, but without using force. When the Austrian 
Foreign Office heard of the mission to Constantinople 
it was much incensed, but d'Ajala managed to hush the 
matter up. The Senate then redressed the grievances of 
the Canalesi, and succeeded in restoring order. But the 
leaders of the movement were subsequently punished 
on various pretexts, and this led to further trouble in 
future. The deficit was met by the suppression of the 
rich monastery of Lacroma, and the seizure of its 

These immediate troubles and dangers having been 
warded off, there follows a period of five years (1800- 
1805) which is perhaps the most prosperous in the whole 
history of the Republic. All the other States of the Medi- 
terranean, large or small, were involved in war ; Ragusa 
alone remained neutral, and therefore enjoyed almost a 
monopoly of the carrying trade. Her ships were more 
numerous than they had ever been before, and her income 
enormous. English privateers harried French commerce, 
and French ones that of England ; Venice was no longer 
of any mercantile importance ; the Turks plundered all 
Christian ships except those of Ragusa. The Senate, 

* R. P. Pregadi^ July ; Pisani, ibid. 


with its traditional diplomacy, kept on good terms with 
everybody, especially with the Turks. A few frontier 
incidents with Austria occurred, but they were settled 
amicably. In 1804 Timoni was appointed Austrian 
consul at Ragusa. His instructions were to protect 
Austrian commercial interests, and to assure the Senate 
that the Emperor intended to protect the Republic and 
guarantee the integrity of its territory. When war broke 
out between France and Austria in 1 805 Ragusa refused 
to commit herself, but Timoni informed his Government 
that the sympathies of the citizens were with the French, 
and when the " bad news " (of Austerlitz) arrived they 
did not conceal their satisfaction. Even in the Senate 
more than half the members were Francophil. *' It 
appears,*' wrote Timoni, "that this Government, of 
which the apathy, indolence, and venality are at their 
height, will undergo the fate for which it is destined. . . . 
I am convinced that if peace be not concluded, the 
French will try to get possession of this Republic, and 
form a body of troops here with whom to attack Cattaro. 
The only means by which this could be avoided, and 
which I venture to submit to the superior intelligence of 
your Excellency, is that in case hostilities should re- 
commence you should place a garrison in the town until 
peace is declared, without, however, interfering in the 
aflfairs of the Government." ^ 

Bru&re was at this time French consul at Ragusa. 
He was a cultivated, brilliant man, and had charming 
manners. He was also a littirateur^ and composed sonnets 
and epigrams in French, Italian, and even in Slavonic. 

> Pisani, i(^'</., pp. 135-136. 



He thus soon acquired considerable influence over the 
young men of the town, and aroused French sympathies 
among them, for which, indeed, the reading of French 
books had prepared the way. But these sentiments did 
not prevent the Senate from politely refusing to make a 
further loan of ammunition and provisions to France, 
which Murat demanded in 1801, for they remembered 
what bad paymasters the French were. On the contrary, 
they tried once more to get their previous loan of 
600,000 francs refunded. While the negotiations were 
going on the Senate wrote most respectfully to the First 
Consul, and when he was proclaimed Emperor they con- 
gratulated him enthusiastically in the best Ragusan style, 
and he replied with a letter in which he called them his 
** dear and good friends." 

The Russians had long desired to establish a footing 
in the Mediterranean, so as to attack Constantinople 
from both sides, and after various fruitless attempts they 
determined to seize Ragusa. In 1802 they appointed 
Charles Fonton their consul in the town. During the 
siege of Malta the French had received some provisions 
from Ragusan ships, and the Tsar Paul, deeming this a 
good excuse for aggressive action, instructed Fonton to 
assume the most brutal manner towards the authorities. 
He neglected no opportunity of making a quarrel. First, 
he demanded that a house should be provided for him 
at the Republic's expense, and when this was complied 
with, he said it was not good enough. This ridiculous 
dispute lasted two years, and in his correspondence with 
the Government he was as insolent and arrogant as only 
a Russian consul knows how to be. He also insisted on 


the execution of the clause of the treaty of 1775, that 
Orthodox services should be held at Ragusa, and, although 
a Githolic himself, he converted an abandoned chapel 
into an Orthodox church, where a Montenegrin pope 

conducted the services. The Senate made remonstrances 
to Vienna, Constantinople, and St. Petersburg about 
Ponton's outrageous behaviour, and tried to obtain his 
removal. But when these manoeuvres were discovered, 
and the anger of Russia was feared, the Senate very 
ungratefully made d'Ajala their scapegoat, disowned him, 



and forced him to resign after thirty years of faithful 
service to the Republic. 

The Russians, naturally, were anything but popular 
at Ragusa, and this strengthened the French sentiments 
of the people. C6sar Berthier, the nephew of the 
Marshal, flaunted about in the public places and private 
houses surrounded by the young men of the best families, 
discoursing loudly of the glories of Napoleon, to the 
extreme disgust of Fonton. 

By the Peace of Pressburg France regained Venetia, 
and consequently Istria and Dalmatia. To this last 
possession Napoleon attached great importance, as it 
formed an excellent base for operations in the Balkans 
and in the East. In February 1 806 the French troops 
under General Molitor occupied the country as far as 
Makarska, and preparations were made for an attack on 
Cattaro, where resistance was expected on the part of the 
Montenegrins and Albanians, supported by the Russians. 

During the war of 1805 Russia had sent a fleet of 
forty-two ships and transports, under Admiral Siniavin, 
into the Adriatic. After the battle of Austerlitz it con- 
centrated at Corfu, and the Admiral was invited by the 
Montenegrins to occupy Cattaro. This he did, obliging 
the Austrian garrison to retire. Ghislieri, the Austrian 
Commissary, who had arranged the evacuation, was 
accused of cowardice, for although Austria had given up 
Dalmatia to France, he had not yet received orders to 
quit his post. The French were furious, and declared 
Austria responsible for the Russian occupation of Cat- 
taro, which they would now have to attack in force. These 
events disturbed the Ragusans, who feared lest the passage 



of French troops through their territory should end in 
a permanent occupation. The Senate sent conciliatory 
letters to Napoleon, congratulating "the most glorious 
of Emperors ** on his victories, and to Talleyrand, " the 
most virtuous of Ministers.'* They offered to transport 
the French army by sea from Stagno to Ragusavecchia 
or Porto Rose, thus avoiding the passage through the 
town of Ragusa, and voted 30,000 piastres for the pur- 
pose. Unfortunately, Sankovski, the Russian Commis- 
sary, heard of the offer, and threatened that if these were 
the Republic's intentions he would order the occupation 
of Ragusavecchia, adding that the garrison would be a 
Montenegrin one, well knowing how the Ragusans hated 
and feared those lawless mountaineers. Another Russian 
agent came to Ragusa on board a frigate, insisted that all 
arrangements with the French should be cancelled, and 
ordered the Senate to inform the Russians as to the 
movements of the French troops. The Senate instructed 
Bassegli and Zlataric, their agents in the French camp, to 
do everything to hinder Molitor's advance, by describing 
the strength of the Russians and the risks of the march. 
This they did, and Molitor was so impressed by their 
statements that he gave up the plan for the moment. 
His demand for a further loan of 300,000 francs was 
refused on the plea that the treasury was empty, although 
as a matter of fact it was not. Siniavin now proposed to 
attack Ragusa and occupy it, but the Senate's protesta- 
tions of loyalty to the Tsar, and possibly its bribes, 
induced him to desist from a move which would have 
secured him from all fear of a French attack.^ 

^ Pisdim, passim. 


But now the French General Lauriston came on the 
scene, and prepared to advance ; he concentrated a force 
at Makarska, and then moved on to Slano in Ragusan 

J territory. The Senators were at their wits' end ; the old 
diplomacy had broken down in the clash of the Napo- 
leonic wars ; they cfould no longer temporise, and were 

I under the necessity of calling in either the French or 

' the Russians. The latter seemed the more dangerous, 
especially on account of their allies, the Montenegrins. 
Moreover, the French consul had made many friends, 
while his Russian colleague was deservedly hated. Count 

f Caboga's proposal that the population should emigrate 
en masse to Corfu or Turkish territory was rejected, and 

', the majority decided in favour of the French. On the 
evening of May 27 Lauriston, with 800 men, reached 
Ragusa after a forced march of twenty hours. He 
found the gates closed and the drawbridge up; two 
Senators met him and requested him not to enter the 
town, but this was a mere formality. He repaired to 
the Palace, where the Minor Council was assembled, and 
declared that his orders were to occupy the fortified 
points of the State of Ragusa, but to respect the liberty 
of the Republic and the persons and property of the in- 
habitants. He oflFered them the protection of Napoleon, 
and said that as the Austrian Emperor had closed all 
his ports to the Anglo-Russian fleets, it was important 
that Ragusa should not remain the only harbour in the 
I Adriatic open to the enemies of France. Meanwhile 
Colonel Teste with the troops had entered the town and 
seized the forts : Ragusa was thus occupied for the first 
time in her history by uninvited foreign troops. Great 


consternation ensued, and the Russians at once seized all 
the Ragusan ships in the harbour of Gravosa. On May 
29 Lauriston issued the following proclamation : — 

" Repeated concessions to the enemies of France had 
placed the Republic of Ragusa in a state of hostility, all 
the more dangerous inasmuch as it was disguised under 
the appearance of neutrality and friendship. The entry 
of the French troops into Dalmatia, far from putting an 
end to such conduct, has only given occasion to our 
enemies to exercise their influence on the State of Ragusa 
still further, and whatever may have been the motives of 
the condescension shown by the magistrates of this State, 
the Emperor could not fail to be aware of them ; he de- 
sired to put an end to intrigues so contrary to the laws 
of neutrality. 

** Consequently, in the name and by the authority of 
His Majesty the Emperor and King of Italy, I take pos- 
session of the town and territory of Ragusa. 

" I declare, however, that it is the intention of His 
Imperial and Royal Majesty to recognise the independ- 
ence and neutrality of this State as soon as the Russians 
evacuate Albania, Corfu, and the other former Venetian 
possessions, and the Russian fleet ceases to disturb the 
coasts of Dalmatia. 

** I promise succour and protection to all Ragusans ; 
I shall see that the existing laws and customs and the 
rights of property be respected ; in a word, I shall so act 
that, according to the behaviour of the inhabitants, they 
will be satisfied with the residence of the French troops 
in the country. 



^^ The existing Government is maintained ; it will 
fulfil the same functions and have the same attributions 
as before ; its relations with States friendly to France or 
neutral will remain on the same footing. 

**M. Bru^re, commissioner of commercial relations 
(consul)y will act as Imperial Commissary to the Senate. 

"Alex. Lauriston. 

" Ragusa, May 28, 1806." 

This coup de main was most successful , but Lauriston 
did not execute the rest of his programme by attacking 
Cattaro, for he was himself besieged in Ragusa instead. 

His forces amounted, as I have said, to about 800 
men, but he sent to Molitor at Zara for reinforcements 
and supplies, which arrived from Spalato soon after ; the 
garrison was thus raised to 2000. Rugusa was put in a 
state of defence, the guns in the arsenal were mounted, 
a cargo of powder for the Turks seized, and the Ragusa- 
vecchia-Obod line held by 200 Frenchmen. A few days 
later the Montenegrins and Orthodox Bocchesi, instig- 
ated by the Russians, advanced into Canali, which they 
proceeded to pillage, while 500 more landed from Rus- 
sian ships near Ragusa vecchia. The French drove them 
back, but fearing to be cut oflF if the Russians landed at 
Breno, they withdrew to that point, and then to Bergato, 
where they were joined by reinforcements under General 
Delgorgue. The Russian squadron sailed up and landed 
a force at Breno, which encouraged the Montenegrins to 
attack Delgorgue. He was hard pressed by the enemy, 
who availed themselves of every inch of covtr. On June 
17 he attempted a bayonet charge, which failed, and 


he himself was killed in the mSlee ; the retreat became 
a routy Bergato was abandoned, and the Russians seized 
Monte Sergio and Gravosa. Ragusa was filled with 
refugees flying before the Montenegrins, and from that 
day was closely invested. A Russian attack on Lacroma 
was repulsed, but on the 19th the bombardment com- 
menced. The battery on Monte Sergio discharged 3374 
shells in seventeen days, but only twenty-three people 
were killed. All the houses round the town were razed to 
the ground ; the villas of the rich nobles were plundered, 
the more valuable contents being seized by the Russian 
oflicers, and the rest left to the Montenegrins, Bocchesi, 
Canalesi, Bosnians, and even Turks, who had swarmed 
down in the hope of loot. The inhabitants who did not 
get away in time were murdered and even tortured. On 
June 22 there was a suspension of hostilities, and the 
nobles tried to induce Lauriston to surrender, which he 
refused to do. On the 28th Admiral Siniavin summoned 
him to capitulate without success; the bombardment 
recommenced, but without much vigour, and the siege 
became a blockade. 

Suddenly on July 6 a body of French troops appeared 
before the Porta Ploce, and soon after Molitor himself 
arrived, drove oflF the Russians, and entered the town. 
When the news of the defeat at Bergato reached Zara 
he had quickly collected 2000 men and advanced on 
Ragusa. He sent a message to Lauriston which was de- 
signed to fall into the hands of the Russians, announcing 
his arrival at the head of 1 0,000 men ; he also made a 
small body of troops march several times past a spot 
near Ombla whence they could be seen by the enemy. 


The Russians, thus deceived as to the strength of the 
French, abandoned Monte Sergio, and together with the 
Montenegrins fled to the coast and embarked on board 
ship. The French were received at Ragusa with much 
show of enthusiasm, for although a large part of the 
population had no sympathy with them, they rejoiced 
that the siege was at an end, and the fear of a sack of 
the town by the Montenegrins removed. 

Molitor returned to Zara, Lauriston remaining behind 
to organise the French protectorate at Ragusa. He 
discovered that the Senate had sent an agent to Con- 
stantinople with a report bitterly reviling the French, 
another to Vienna and St. Petersburg asking for inter- 
vention in favour of Ragusa, and a third to Paris with a 
humble letter to Napoleon, and instructions to ask the 
Turkish ambassador to protest against the occupation of 
a State tributary to the Porte. He also learned that the 
Republic had deposited 700,000 florins in Schuller^s 
bank at Vienna, of which a part had been withdrawn in 
March and June. The French Commissary there- 
upon declared that henceforth all affairs dealt with by 
the Senate and the Minor Council should be first com- 
municated to him, and that no payments were to be 
made without his authority. 

Although Lauriston in his proclamation of May 29, 
1 806, had promised that Ragusa would be evacuated when 
peace was declared, the French had no intention of doing 
so, and on July 2 1 Napoleon wrote to Eugene Beauhar- 
nais : " You will make General Lauriston observe that if 
I have said in the treaty (the peace of Oubril, which the 
Tsar afterwards refused to ratify) that I recognise the 


independence of Ragusa, that does not mean that I shall 
evacuate it; on the contrary, when the Montenegrins 
have gone home, I intend to organise the country, 
and then abandon it if necessary, retaining only Stagno.*' 
The Ragusans did not know of this, and believed that 
they would soon be free, but their hopes were dashed to 
the ground when, on August 24, war broke out again. 

The French paid the indemnities for the siege very 
liberally — 1 3,000, ocx) francs — as the money was to be 
provided for by Austria, whom they held responsible for 
all the consequences of the Russian occupation of Cattaro. 
On the strength of this generosity the Senate tried once 
more through Count Sorgo, a Ragusan resident in Paris, to 
get the other loan of 600,000 francs refunded, but without 
success. At last, on July 8, 1 807, the Peace of Tilsit was 
signed, by which Russia gave up Cattaro to the French. 
Berthier, in a letter to General Marmont, who was now 
in command in Dalmatia, wrote : ^^ Ragusa must certainly 
be united to Dalmatia ; you must therefore continue to 
fortify it." On August 13 Marmont stopped at Ragusa 
on his way to Cattaro, and received the Senators very 
aflfably ; but in the course of conversation he said to one 
of them : " Vous allez ^tre des notres." On being asked 
for an explanation of these ominous words, he added 
*^ that in the present circumstances they could not remain 
free : the delegates having said that without merchant 
shipping the State could not exist, Marmont replied that 
by belonging to the great Emperor His Majesty would 
find means of compensating them. The next day the 
General told the delegates who had called on him 
that he was instructed to inform them of their future 


destiny, and that pending the arrival of those to whom 
the organisation of the new Government was entrusted, 
that of Ragusa might continue in its functions.*' ^ 

The declaration seemed the death-knell of Ragusan 
independence, and Timoni describes the condition of the 
State in consequence of the French occupation : "Agri- 
culture ruined, the merchant navy reduced to inaction, 
public finances dilapidated, private citizens crushed down 
by requisitions, the monasteries converted into barracks, 
the invasion of the Jews as army contractors, the estab- 
lishment of a masonic lodge and a club, and on the top 
of all this the blindness of the people and the bourgeoisie 
who receive the French with open arms." As Timoni 
observes, the French party was still strong among the 
middle and lower classes, who were tired of the oligarchic 
rule of the nobles. 

As soon as Marmont had departed a secret meeting of 
the Senate was held, and it was decided to send a disguised 
messenger to Vienna with a petition to the Emperor of 
Austria. As usual insufficient secrecy was observed, and 
Marmont heard of their action, but did nothing for the 
moment. On November 4 a demand was made for 300 
sailors for the Franco-Venetian fleet, to which the Senate 
replied that in Ragusa there was always an insufficiency 
of seamen, that a third of the crews were foreigners, 
and that many of their ships had been captured by the 
Russians or were abroad. Instructions were sent to 
Kiriko, the Ragusan consul at Constantinople, to try to 
obtain Turkish intervention. But the French ambassador, 

^ Timoni's despatches to the Austrian Chancery, quoted by Pisani, 
tbid.^ pp. 299-3oa 


General Sebastiani, had so much influence with the Porte 
that Kiriko had been obliged to remove the Ragusan arms 
from his house, and to request the Ragusan ship-captains 
to substitute the tricolor for the banner of St. Blaize. 
For this the Republic dismissed him from his office, and 
sent Antonio Natali to inform the Sultan of the dangers 
which menaced *^ the oldest and most faithful tributary 
of the Porte." On December 21 Lauriston informed 
the Minor Council that Ragusan ships must take out 
Italian patents within three days on pain of being seized 
on leaving the port. The Senate replied that it could 
not take such a step without consulting the Ottoman 
Government. Two days later Lauriston left Ragusa, 
and on the 26th Colonel Godart put up a notice declaring 
that any captain who did not hoist the Italian colours at 
once would be imprisoned. On January 2, 1 808, General 
Clauzel took command of Ragusa, and on the 6th the 
tricolor was hoisted on the flagstaff in the Piazza. The 
Senate tried to send Count Oboga to the Emperor of 
Austria, but Clauzel prevented his departure. Urgent 
messages were despatched to Constantinople, and over- 
tures were even made to Timoni. " Consul/* they said 
significantly, "Ragusans or Austrians." The Pasha of 
Bosnia was also approached, but he was friendly to the 
French, and informed them of all the Ragusans* com- 
munications. On the 30th Marmont returned to Ragusa, 
and summoned the Senate, saying that he had a declaration 
to make. ** The Council," writes Timoni, " gathered to- 
gether in less than an hour, and Colonel Delort repaired to 
the Palace, followed by the Consul Brufere, the war com- 
missary, the commander of the garrison, the interpreter 



Vernazza, and two other officers. The Colonel sat down 
beside the Rector, and read out to the Senate a document 
in which the Government of Ragusa was accused of dis- 
loyalty, of having set the Pasha of Bosnia against the 
French, of having tried to raise an agitation among the 
people ; the intimation made by Marmont the preceding 
August not having had any effect, it was now necessary 
to take further measures. He then drew another paper 
from his pocket, and read as follows : — 

" * The General Commander-in-Chief in Dalmatia 
orders : The Republic of Ragusa has ceased to exist ; 
the Government and the Senate, as well as the law- 
courts, are dissolved. M. Brufere is appointed pro- 
visional administrator of the State of Ragusa.* 

** The Senators were silent for a while ; then Count 
Biagio Bernardo Caboga arose, and informed the Colonel 
that neither the moment nor the circumstances permitted 
him to enter into a long justification; that, as far as 
concerned himself, his conscience was pure and clear, and 
that he could answer for the loyalty of his colleagues. 
The Senate was ready to submit to the Divine Will as 
manifested through the organ of His Majesty Napoleon 
the Great." 
I Meanwhile troops seized the Palace, the Segrctcria, 

and the custom house, on which seals were affixed. That 
night the burghers of Ragusa gave a ball to celebrate 
the end of the oligarchy ! But though resistance might 
now seem indeed hopeless, the Senate continued to intrigue 
for a little while longer. Napoleon then ordered Mar- 
mont to arrest ten of the chief agitators and send them 
to Venice as hostages, and to threaten to shoot all 



who were found to be in correspondence with foreign 
Governments. The nobles ceased to agitate openly, but 
they did not yet renounce all hope of regaining their 

In March, 1808, Marmont was created Duke of 
Ragusa, a title of which, according to Pisani, he was not 
very proud, for in his memoirs he mentions it as having 
been conferred on him in 1807, perhaps because he did 
not like to be reminded of the fact that it was a reward 
for his services in the suppression of a free Republic. 

Napoleon had appointed the Venetian Dandolo Prov- 
veditore of Dalmatia, while General Marmont retained 
the supreme military command. But Ragusa and Cat- 
taro were given a separate administration under G. D. 
Garagnin, who was independent of Dandolo, and respon- 
sible only to Marmont. The territory of the Republic 
was divided into three districts: Ragusa, Stagno, and 
the Islands. Ragusa was given a council of eighteen 
members (six nobles, six burghers, and six plebeians), 
with Count Sorgo as mayor, and four adjoints. The 
State's finances proved to be still in good condition in 
spite of all the troubles and the requisitions, and large 
sums were invested in foreign banks. 

After the departure of the Russian fleet the British 
squadron appeared in the Adriatic and began to prey 
upon French and Dalmatian shipping. During the next 
three years fighting continued in Croatia between the 
Austrians and the French, and trouble was threatened in 
the Bocche by the native Orthodox Christians supported 
by the Montenegrins. The French General Pacthod 
visited Cattaro, made some arrests, shot three of the 

2 c 




agitators, and calmed the rest of the population. But 
the British fleet ceaselessly cruised up and down, and 
prevented the French from maintaining secure commu- 
nications between Italy and Dalmatia. The British crews 
had one great advantage over the French — they were 
all Englishmen, and veterans ; whereas the French ships 
were manned by scratch crews, consisting of Italians 
and Slaves, as well as of Frenchmen. In 1 810 lissa was 
made the port of call for British ships, but not fortified. 
In October a Franco-Italian squadron under Captain 
Dubordieu, in the absence of British men-of-war, seized 
the island and captured a few merchantmen; but he 
abandoned it again on the return of the fleet, and the 
British now decided to occupy it permanently. Dubor- 
dieu received orders to try to recapture it, and on March 
II, 1 8 1 1 , he set sail from Ancona with nine warships, 
271 guns, and 2655 men. On the 13th he encountered 
a British squadron under Captain Hoste, consisting of 
four ships with 188 guns and 985 men. In spite of this 
great disparity of forces Hoste gave battle, and was com- 
pletely victorious ; most of the enemies* ships were sunk 
or captured. The British were equally successful in 
subsequent engagements, and Lissa was strongly fortified 
and formally taken possession of in 18 12. The island 
prospered enormously under British rule, and the popu- 
lation rose from 4000 to 1 1 ,000. In January Sir Duncan 
Robertson, commanding at Lissa, occupied Curzola, which 
was given a government like that of Lissa under Lowen, 
and became equally prosperous. The Ragusan island of 
Lagosta was occupied at the same time. 

In the following May the British determined to 


occupy the other Ragusan islands. On February 1 8 an 
attack was made on Mezzo, but repulsed. The island 
was then blockaded ; part of the garrison deserted, and 
the rest under Lieutenant Tock retired to the Forte 
della Montagna. A British force landed, seized the 
Forte Santa Maria, and placed a battery on a hill com- 
manding Tock*s position. Unable to hold out any 
longer, he surrendered to Blake with the honours of war. 
Giuppana was also captured, and then Calamotta, and 
the Ragusan Count Natali was appointed Governor of 
the Archipelago under British protection. An attack 
on Ragusavecchia was repulsed by a Croatian battalion 
on October 1 1 ; but two days later that same battalion 
deserted from the French to the English side, and Count 
Biagio Bernardo Caboga was appointed Governor of the 
town. The same day another Croatian detachment 
abandoned the island of Daksa at the entrance of the 
harbour of Gravosa, and a British force occupied Stagno. 
Thus Ragusa was blockaded from the sea on all sides. 
On November 11, 1813, Hoste attacked the island of 
Lesina, and captured it without difficulty. 

In this same year an Austrian army invaded Dalmatia 
and co-operated with the British fleet; the population 
being tired of French exaction rose in arms in favour 
of the Austrians. The French, attacked on all sides, 
were forced to abandon many towns and fortresses. For 
a time the British under Cadogan, the Austrians under 
General Tomasic, and the Dalmatian insurgents under 
Danese all worked together for the expulsion of the 
invaders. But in the operations round Ragusa and 
Cattaro a certain amount of friction arose between the 





British and the Austrians. The French forces too, how- 
ever, were not homogeneous, and the number of deser- 
tions from the Italian and Croatian regiments, whose 
hearts were not in the fight, was very large. The Allies 
were assisted by an anti-French movement in Ragusa 
itself; but while the nobles and the peasantry desired 
the restoration of the Republic, the bourgeoisie still 
evinced French tendencies. The other Dalmatians 
wished to be under Austrian dominion. 

The British fleet, as I have said, had occupied the 
Ragusan islands, where a provisional Government was set 
up under Ragusan nobles, and the old Ragusan laws were 
revived. With the capture of Stagno the whole country 
west of the Ombla rose in favour of the Anglo-Austrians, 
and Captain Lowen issued a proclamation to the Ragusans 
from Mezzo, declaring that " the English and Austrian 
forces were advancing towards this country to give it 
back its liberty. . . . Remember that you bear a glorious 
name, and fight as the Spaniards and the Russians have 
fought to restore your independence." The Austrian 
proclamation issued by General Hiller contained no 
mention of the word independence. 

In the meanwhile the Ragusans Count Caboga and 
Marchese Bona raised a force of 3000 Canalesi ; as this 
was not sufHcient to recapture Ragusa, it became necessary 
to apply for British assistance. But no one wished to be 
the first to ask for it, as it was feared that if the British 
did seize Ragusa they might end by retaining it ; while 
if they failed, the French would show no mercy on the 
rebels. At last it was agreed to send a popular deputa- 
tion of twenty-five peasants to Captain Hoste, who was 


in command of the squadron at Cattaro, asking for help 
from the Allies to re-establish the Republic. According 
to Bona, Hoste and Lowen gave them a safe-conduct, 
declaring that the Canalesi, under the protection of the 
Allies, were to act for the common cause, and promised 
to send an English force to Canali. The Canalesi rose 
in revolt, and drove the French gendarmes and patrols 
out of the country. As no English force arrived, a second 
deputation went to Hoste, who sent Lowen to Ragusa- 
vccchia, but no men to Canali. Caboga then proclaimed 
the general revolution, but was forced to fly from the 
French police. On October 28 a small British de- 
tachment under Lieutenant Macdonald landed at Ragusa- 
vecchia, raised the British flag, and declared that the ancient 
laws of Ragusa were revived in the place of the French 
ones, and Count Caboga was made commandant of the 
town pro tempore. The raising of the British flag and 
the appointment of Caboga displeased the Ragusan 
nobles, who regarded these acts as infringements of their 
own rights. They met in council, and proposed to send 
an agent to Constantinople to notify the restoration of 
the Republic to the Sultan and place it once more under 
his suzerainty. Caboga spoke against the proposal as 
constituting a slight to the English, whereupon he was 
at once accused of having sold himself to them. Lowen 
was then asked for permission to raise the Ragusan stand- 
ard, but he said that he had no authority, and that 
application must be made to Admiral Fremantle, who 
held the chief command in the Adriatic. But when 
Hoste arrived at Ragusa vecchia on November 15, he 
at once had the standard of St. Blaize hoisted, saluted it 

. v. 



with twenty-one guns from his frigate, and proclaimed 
the independence of the Republic. 

Caboga then determined to begin the attack on 
Ragusa with his insurgents. The town was at that time 
a first-class fortress. The Porta Ploce was defended by 
the Revellino, and the Porta Pile by the Forte San 
Lorenzo; while on Monte Sergio the Forte Imperiale 
had been erected the previous year. An assault on the 
latter having failed, the blockade was commenced. At 
first the operations were not very successful, for although 
Bona raised some of the people of the Primorije, the 
chiefs of the villages beyond Slano told him that they 
had been ordered by General Tomasic to swear fealty to 
Austria alone — a proof of that Power*s intentions with 
regard to Ragusa. Captain Hoste also refused to pro- 
vide a landing party or a siege train. Lowen was next 
applied to, and he landed fifty men, appointing Caboga 
" Commander-in-Chief of the Insurgent Forces besieging 
Ragusa.'' But the besiegers had no artillery, and at 
their headquarters at Gravosa there were only 300 or 
400 men, while a party of the French-Ragusan National 
Guard, under Colonel Giorgi, had succeeded in arrest- 
ing some of the nobles at Gravosa on November 25. 
Montrichard, who commanded the Ragusan garrison, 
determined on a sortie on the night of December 8. 
Native spies informed the besiegers of the plan, and an 
ambuscade was prepared to meet the attacking party as 
they issued from Porta Pile. But midnight, the hour 
fixed for the sortie, having passed, and no one appearing, 
the insurgents thought that the idea must have been 
given up, and returned to Gravosa. Then a Croatian 



detachment under Grguric, and an Italian one under 
Paccioni, issued forth from Ragusa and attacked the 
insurgents' headquarters at 2 a.m. But the advance was 
revealed by two deserters who fired ofF their rifles, and Pac- 
cioni failed to co-operate with Grguric^. The sortie was 
therefore repulsed, but with small losses on either side. 

On January 3, 18 14, the Austrian General Milutinovic 
arrived before Ragusa at the head of two battalions, 
bringing letters from Baron Tomasic, who thanked 
Caboga and Bona for their services. His first act, how- 
ever, was to attempt to disband the local volunteers, to 
which Caboga refused to agree, demanding the recog- 
nition of the insurgents as independent belligerents. 
This Milutinovic^ granted, as he was not strong enough 
to refuse, and he left Caboga in command of the 
besiegers during his own absence at Cattaro. Having 
failed to take that town he returned to Gravosa on the 
13th. The nobles were dissatisfied with Caboga, whom 
they regarded as being in the pay of foreigners, and on 
the night from the 17 th to the i8th of January they 
met at Count Giorgi's house at Gravosa, and proclaimed 
the re-establishment of the Republic. D'Ajala and 
Bosgiovic notified the event to the Emperor of Austria 
and the Sultan respectively, and a deputation waited on 
Milutinovic for the same purpose. The General pre- 
tended to acquiesce, as he was not in a position to do 
otherwise. Hoste, although he had little sympathy for 
the rebels, was not sorry to see Milutinovic in difficulties. 
When the latter, however, asked him for artillery, after 
refusing, he agreed to supply two guns and four mortars, 
which were landed on the 20th. On the 21st the 



bombardment was commenced, but did little damage at 
first. An attack on Forte Imperiale failed, but a few 
days later another battery was raised at San Giacomo, and 
armed with ten British guns, brought into position by a 
difficult and circuitous route ; it opened fire at once on 
Forte Imperiale and Lacroma. 

On the 25 th Montrichard, who was certainly no 
hero, communicated with the besiegers with a view to 
capitulation, and on the 26th explained their proposals to 
his council of defence. Grguric^, Paccioni, and Major 
Sfebe, who were the most energetic of his officers, replied 
that as the walls were intact, the population quiet, provi- 
sions ample, and there were 152 guns, the garrison was not 
in any of the cases justifying a capitulation according to 
the regulations. Montrichard pretended to give way, 
but the next day he arranged for a popular demonstra- 
tion of some 200 people, who hooted the Italian troops, 
while a member of the crowd raised the Ragusan stand- 
ard on one of the towers. This gave him the required 
excuse, and some hours later a capitulation was 
agreed upon, by which the Anglo-Austrians were to 
enter the town at midday on the 28th, but the insurgents 
were not to be admitted until disarmed. The French 
and Italian troops were to be shipped to Ancona without 
the honours of war. When Caboga heard the terms of 
the capitulation he was most indignant, because a few 
days previously Milutinovic^ had promised that on the 
surrender of the town 200 armed insurgents should enter 
it together with the troops, that the Ragusan flag should 
be raised on the forts with that of Austria and Great 
Britain, and that the civil government should be carried 


on by Caboga and the commission of nobles. Finding 
himself thus betrayed, he ordered Count Natali to be 
ready with an armed body of insurgents at the Porta 
Ploce, to enter as soon as it was opened and proclaim 
the restoration of the Republic. The citizens got wind 
of this plan, and fearing that the insurgents might think 
more of plunder than of the Republic they informed 
Milutinovic. The General worked all night to get the 
Porta Pile, which had been blocked up during the siege, 
open by dawn. In this he succeeded, and at an early 
hour his Croatians entered the town with two guns. In 
the meanwhile the insurgents were waiting outside the 
other gate, and when, at twelve o'clock, it was opened 
and they rushed towards the bridge, they found them- 
selves faced by the Austrian troops with fixed bayonets 
and the two guns. They saw that the game was up, and 
dispersed to their homes. They returned later unarmed, 
carrying instead of rifles fruit and vegetables to sell in 
the market. 

Milutinovic dissolved the National Guard organised 
by the French, and the Austrian troops seized all the 
posts. On the 29th the Austrian standard was raised 
on the Orlando column, and Austrian and English 
detachments occupied the forts. The French garrison 
left, and a few days later the British fleet set sail. Its 
share of the booty consisted of a few guns, some powder, 
and tobacco. 

The party of the nobles, although it was obvious that 
the Republic was no more, especially after the departure 
of the English, did not yet abandon all hope. On 
February 15 the civil oflicials swore fealty to the 


Emperor of Austria as King of Dalmatia, Ragusa, and 
Cattaro, and on March 2 the clergy did the same. The 
latter had sworn fealty a short time before to Napoleon, 
but Milutinovi<5 had won them over by his respect for 
Catholic ceremonies, although he himself was a member 
of the Orthodox Church. The Austrians now wished to 
round off their Dalmatian possessions by occupying the 
Ragusan islands; but Count Natali declared that the 
government of them had been entrusted to him by 
the British before Austria had joined the coalition, and 
that he would not surrender them until he received an 
authorisation from Admiral Fremantle. Count Caboga 
was appointed by Austria provisional Intendant of 
Ragusa, with instructions to follow the ordinances 
established by the French. The bourgeoisie accepted 
Austrian rule as a pis alter rather than return under 
the oligarchy. The peasants were overawed by the 
troops, and gave no further trouble. The nobles, how- 
ever, were profoundly dissatisfied, and still continued to 
agitate in secret for a return to the status quo. General 
Tomasic instructed Milutinovi^ to spare their feelings as 
much as possible. ** In dealing with them,** he wrote, 
"you must not use the words milssen and soUen^ but 
instead bitten^ ersuchen^ ^ 

In January Marchese Bona had gone to Vienna to 
plead the cause of Ragusan independence. He was at 
first received at the Imperial Chancery with great cour- 
tesy, but obtained no promises. When, however, the 
Ragusan intrigues at Constantinople and the double game 
played by the nobles were disclosed, he received orders 

1 Le. "beg'* and "request," rather than "must" and "shall." 



from the police to quit the town within a fortnight. 
He then departed, leaving a dignified protest against the 
insults offered to him, and against the denial of justice 
to the claims of his fellow-citizens. 

At Ragusa the nobles continued in their opposition, 
and assailed all the magistrates who did not belong to 
their own order. General Tomasid, to please them, dis- 
missed three officials who were of the bourgeoisie and put 
nobles in their places. Emboldened by this concession, 
they went about declaring that the Congress of Vienna 
was going to proclaim the independence of Ragusa, like 
that of the Republic of Cracow. ** The Ragusans," as Pisani 
writes, " had but too much reason to compare their own 
fate to that of Poland, and in seeking the causes of their 
misfortunes one may find more than one feature of 
resemblance between them and the Poles." ^ 

At last General Milutinovid lost patience, and when 
a deputation of nobles came to propose a series of ad- 
ministrative reforms which would have prepared the way 
for the restoration of the Constitution, he threatened to 
imprison all who took part in secret conclaves, and in his 
report of April 4 he denounced the nobles for their 
correspondence with the Turks. But when he departed 
to attack Cattaro for the second time, he left a Hung- 
arian officer named Wittman, a weak and incapable 
person, in charge, and under his feeble rule the plots 
began again. The nobles succeeded in winning back 
Caboga to their side, by showing him (according to 
Pisani) some forged documents, in which it was stated 
that the Congress really intended to re-establish Ragusan 

* Pisani, pp. 457-58. 


independence ; fearing, therefore, that if the nobles came 
into power once more they would exile him and con- 
fiscate his property, he communicated some valuable 
documents to them, such as Lowen's proclamation at 
Ragusavecchia of Ragusan independence, which they sent 
to England to be submitted to the Congress by the 
British Ministers. But when Caboga saw that he had 
been hoodwinked, he returned to Austrian allegiance. A 
deputation of nobles went to Zara to wait on General 
Tomasic, but without result. On July 13 Milutinovi<5 
returned in triumph from Cattaro, which he had reduced 
to order, and made the following proclamation : — 

**The Imperial and Royal Chancery has been pleased 
to inform me by a Note of January 3 that, in conse- 
quence of an agreement between the allied Powers, the 
territory included under the name of lUyria during the 
rule of Napoleon, and consequently the State of Ragusa, 
the islands depending from it, and the Bocche di Cattaro 
are definitely made over to the Imperial and Royal Court 
of Austria. 

'^ I notify this decision so that the inhabitants of the 
said provinces may learn their fate, and try to deserve, 
by a prompt and loyal submission, the effects of the 
benevolence of Our august Sovereign the Emperor and 
King Francis I. 

" By the Civil and Military Government of Dalmatia, 
Ragusa, and Cattaro. 

** Baron ToMASid, F eldmarschalULieutenant. 

" By authentic copy. 
" MiLUTiNOvid, General-Major. 

"Zara, yi/^ 7." 


This proclamation was received respectfully and in 
silence. Only one noble, Marchese Francesco Bona, 
tried to raise a rebellion among the peasants, and was at 
once arrested and imprisoned in the Forte San Lorenzo. 
On August 29 the Municipal Council was summoned 
to elect a deputation to the Emperor-King. Miluti- 
novic had returned to Cattaro, and although Wittmann, 
who was in charge, was present at the sitting, it proved 
a stormy one. Count Pozza-Sorgo declared that if a 
deputation were sent to the Emperor of Austria, another 
should also be sent to the King of England, whose forces 
had contributed at least as effectively as those of Austria 
in driving out the French. But as Marchese Michele 
Bona was already on a mission to the Allies it was use- 
less to send another; the choice of the delegates was 
therefore adjourned, and the motion accepted by ten votes 
to eight. Caboga summoned the Council again on 
September i , when the delegation was chosen ; the 
Council was about to break up when the Mayor, Bosdari, 
received a sealed packet. On opening it he found that 
it contained the solemn protest of forty of the nobles 
who had signed the act of January 18. ** It is we," 
they declared, "who have been constituted from that day 
the sovereign Council, and have the sole authority to 
speak in the name of our country." Wittmann took the 
protest and forwarded it to Zara, and he also informed 
Milutinovic of the occurrence. The next day all the 
signatories of the document were arrested save eighteen, 
who fled to the islands under British protection. At 
II A.M. Milutinovic arrived, and issued a proclamation 
describing the protest as an " act of frenzy," and inviting 


the people to sign a counter-protest. This was done, 
and Bosdari requested the General to liberate all the 
nobles who were willing to sign a declaration of sub- 
mission to the Emperor. Milutinovic agreed, and in- 
cluded the fugitives in the amnesty, on condition that 
they returned within eight days. The nobles signed the 
oath, and on September 15 an assembly of the people 
elected a deputation to go to Zara and swear fealty in 
the name of all. Milutinovic^ then addressed a very 
severe admonition to the nobles, and all of that order 
who occupied judicial positions were dismissed.^ 

The Ragusan archipelago remained under British 
protection until July 16, 18 15. On August 3, 18 16, 
Dalmatia and Ragusa received a definite organisation by 
Imperial rescript, and Baron Tomasic was appointed 
Statthalter or Military and Civil Governor, and Milu- 
tinovid departed from Ragusa. The Emperor assumed 
the title of Duke of Ragusa, which his successors still 

Thus ends, after more than twelve hundred years, the 
history of the Republic of Ragusa. Its Government and 
citizens may have had their defects, but they were full 
of a real, if somewhat narrow, patriotism. The State 
conferred a prosperity and happiness on its inhabitants 
which have fallen to the lot of few peoples during 
that long and troubled period, while the peculiar, and 
almost unique, position occupied in European history 
and polity by the tiny Commonwealth may perhaps 
justify the appearance of this volume. 

* 'P\s3Ln\^ passi/N. 










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lAbtr Statutorum Civitatis Rhacusii (MS. in the Franciscan Library at 

D. Farlati and J. Coleti, Illyricum Sacrum^ Venetiis, 1 751-18 19. 
G. Lucio, Memorie Istoriche di Tragurio^ published in his De Regno Dal- 

mati£f 1666. 
P. Pisani, Num Ragusini ob omni jure Veneto a s£c, x usque ad sac, xiv 

immunes fuerinty Paris, 1893. 
Gelcich, La Zedda e la Dinastia dei BalliiSf Spalato, 1899. 
Gelcich, / Conti di Tuheljy 1889. 

**G. G.," Turchi e Cristiani^ in the •* Annuario Dalmatico" for 1884. 
**G. G.," In Tenebris Lux^ in the « Annuario Dalmatico" for 1885. 
Relatione del? Orribile Terremoto seguito nella Citta di Ragusa^ Venetia, 

Ludovicus Cervarius Tubero, Commentariolus de Temporibus Suis^ 1603. 
V. Bogi2i^, article on theStanico in the *<Archiv fiir Slawische Philologie," 

Berlin, vol. ii., 1877. 
J. Pisko, Skanderbegy Wien, 1894. 
T. Chcrsa, Degli Illustri Toscani in Ragusa, 

Antonio degl' Ivellio, Saggio sulla Colonia e il Contadinaggio di Ragusa, 
Paolo, Cavaliere de Re^tar, La Zecca della Repubblica di Ragusa^ 

Spalato, 1 89 1. 
P. Pisani, La Dalmatie de 1797 a 181 5, Paris, 1893. 
Tullio Erber, Storia della Dalmazia dal 1797 al 18 14, Zara, j886, &c. 
Sir William Hoste, Memoirs and Letters, London, 1833. 
£in Gedenkbuch der Erhebung Ragusas in dem Jahren 1 8 1 3- 1 4, edit. G. 

Gelcich, in the ** Archiv fiir osterreichische Geschichte," Wien, 

▼ol. Ixiv., 1882. 
Comte Due de Sorgo, Fragments sur Pffistoire . , , de Raguse, Paris, 




Philippus de Diversis de Quartigianis, Situs AeMfictorum Ragusli^ edit 

Brxinelli, Zara, 1882. 
T. Graham JacksoD, Dalmatian the Quarnero^ and htria^ Oxford, 1887. 
R. TOO Eitelberger tod Edelberg, Kunstdenkmale Dalmatieruy vol. it. of 

his Gesammelte kunsthistorische Schriften^ Wien, 1884. 

E. Freeman, Sketches from the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice^ 

LoDdon, 1 88 1. 
Gliubich (Ljubid), Dizionario Biografico della Dalma%ia, 
Galleria di Ragusei Illustri^ Ragusa, 184I. 

A. N. Puipin UDd W. Spasowicz, Geschichte der Slaviscben Literature 

Leipzig, 1880. 
AppcDdini, Versione Libera delP Osmanide. 


B. Ramberti, Libri Tre delle Cose dei Turchif lS39« 

CateriDO Zen's journey to Constantinople, published in Starine x. of 

the South- Slavonic Academy, 1878. 
Nicholas de Nicolay, Les Navigations et Peregrinations et Voyages fmcti 

en la Turquie^ Anvers, 1 576. 
Des Hayes de Courroenin, Voyage de Levant ^ Paris, 1649. 
Thomas Watkins, Travels through Swisserland^ Italy . , . to Constanii'^ 

nople^ London, 1794. 

F. C. H. L. Pouqueville, Voyage dans la Grece^ Paris, 1826. 

J. D. F. Neigebauer, Die Siid-Slaven und deren Lander^ Leipzig, 1851. 
F. Petter, Dalmatien, 

A. A. Paton, Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic^ London, 1849. 
Sir John Gardner Wilkinson, Dalmatia and Montenegro^ London, 1848. 
W. F. Wingfield, A Tour in Dalmatia, Albania, and Montenegro, with a 

Historical Sketch of the Republic of Ragusa, London, 1859. 
Arthur J. Evans, Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on Foot, . . • 

with an Historical Revie^w of Bosnia, London, 1876. 

This list does not claim to be a complete bibliography by any means, 
nor does it even include all the books, pamphlets, and articles which I 
have consulted in compiling this volume ; but it should be sufficient as a 
guide for those who wish to go deeper into the subject. 


Adrianople, 170, 271 

Adriatic, navigation in, 54 ; pirates in, 190 

Advocatus Comunis, 85 

iCsculapius capital, 341-4 

Albania. 59-60, 166; under Servian rule, 

137 ; Venetians in, 163 ; Turks in, 259 
Alexius Comnenus, Emperor of the East, 

Altomanovid, Nicholas, 165, 167, 175-6 
Antium, Cape, battle of, x8o 
Antivari, 136-8, 140; church of, 73; 

trade with, 73 
Apulia, 118, 246-7; pirates of, 123 
Archbishops of Ragusa, Venetian, 39 
Aristocracy, 298, 317, 333-7, 411-16 
Arrengerius, Archbishop of Ragusa. 73 
Art at Ragusa, 149 sq. , 339 sq. 
Austria, Ragusan tribute to, 327 
Austrian wars with Turkey. 321-4 ; 

schemes on Ragusa, 383 
Austrians in Dal mat ia, 382 sg. , 403 sg. ; 

occupy Ragusa. 411 
Avars destroy Salona and Epidaurum, 16 

Bal§a. George, 177, 179; BaBa III.. 

202-4, 3IO ; Constantine Baiia. 190 
Barbarossa. Haireddin, 8, 281-4 
Barbary corsairs, 281, 283 ; States, 324 
Basil II.. Emperor of the East, 61 
Bavazet I.. 187, 191 ; II., 255, 258 
Bela II., King of Hungary, 37 ; IV., no 
Belgrad, 136. 225, 237. 261, 266, 324 
Benedict XII., Pope, 113 
Benessa, Piro, 63-4 
Bergato. 107, 130 ; battle of. 394-5 
Bol^li, Michele, 47, 63 ; Vito, 63 
Bobovac, 102, 200. 201. 241 
Bodazza, Lorenzo and Simone. 195 
Bodino. legend of, 46-7, 61 
Bogomilism, 53. xo8, in, 168, 223, 230 
Bojana, river. 116. 118, 137 
Bona, Giovanni, 373 ; Marquis, 404, 407 ; 

Niccol6, 319, 320 ; Serafino, 245 
Bosdari, Mayor of Ragusa, 415 ; Michele, 

Bc^kovic. Ruggiero, 329, 381 
Bosnia, 59, 60, 102-3, 167-8, 193, 219- 

223, 227-8, 238-43, 248, 251-2. 261-2 
Bosnia, bishopric of, no; envoys to, 

320 ; Pashas of. 281. 296 
Bosnian colony near Ragusa, 18. 19 
Branivoj, 95-8 
Bratutti, Niccolo, 373 
Braxza, 199, 205-9 


British fleet, operations of, 401 sq. 
Brskovo, 141, 143 
Bru6re, French Consul. 387-8, 399 
Bucchia brothers, 97 ; Giorgio. 319-21 
Budua. 176-7 

Cab(jga, Biagio, 301 ; Count Biagio Ber- 
nard, 392,3^9,400. 404; Marino. 319-21 

Calvino, Crisostomo. Archbishop of 
Ragusa. 292-3 

Canalesi.404, 407 

Canali. 12. 15, 206; revolt in, 385-6 

Candia, war of. 296, 318 

Candiano, Pietro I., i3oge of Venice, 27 ; 
III.. Doge of Venice, 27 

Castelnuovo, 184, 281-3, 3^^ 

Castello of Ragusa, 151, x6o. 340-41 

Cathedral of Ragusa. 151-3 ; Treasury. 
301-2, 367-8 

Cattaro, 59. 91-2, 99. 124. 140, 168. 175, 
177, 180, 181, 204. 211 ; Bocche di, 59. 
322 ; Three Martyrs of. 1 14 

Cemomen, battle of, 170-1 

Charles V. , 286-8, 307-8 

Chioggia war, 180-82 

Christian fleet, 228; Leagues. 280, 286; 
prisoners, 285. 292 

Church, Eastern and Western, 222 

Citizens, classes of, 335-6 

Clissa, 185, 281, 293 

Coinage of Ragusa, 145, 192 

Constantine Falaeologus, Empwror, 264 

Constantinople captured by Crusadeis. 
50 ; captured by Turks, 235 ; Ragusans 
at, 116, 118. 151 ; routes to, 266 sq. 

Constitution of Ragusa, 79, 87-8, 330 

Counts of Ragusa, Venetian, 24, 70. 71 

Crnoevi^, Radi£, 191 

Croatia, 262, 401 

Cubranovi(5, Andrija, 375 

Culin, Banus of Bosnia, 53, 61, no, in 

Curzola. 7, 199. 205-9, 402 ; battle of, 91 

Dabisa. King of Bosnia. 193 
D'Ajala, 333, 383, 386, 389-90, 409 
Dalmatia, geographical position, i ; con- 
quered by the Romans, 8 ; by Odova- 
kar. 9 ; theme of, 9. 10 ; conquered by 
Venice, 32-4; Imperial authority 
revives in, 34 ; conquered by Hungary. 
163 sq. ; reconquered by Venice. 
2x1-12 ; invaded by the Turks, 281-2 ; 
the French in, 390 sq. 
Dance, church of, 351 ; paintings in, 361 

2 E 



Dandolo, Enrico, D<^e of Venice, 50; 

Giovanni, Count of Ragusa, 62 ; Prov- 

veditore of Dalmatia, 401 
Delgorgue, General, 394-S 
Delort, Colonel, 399, 400 
Demetrius Palaeologus, Despot of the 

Morea, 265 
Dessa, Prince of the Serbs, 37 
Diplomacy. Ragusan, 88-9, 288, 291 
Dobroslav, Prince of the Serbs, 34 
Doclea, 62, 166 ; archbishopric of. 51 
^Dominican monastery at Ragusa, 156-7, 

304 ; paintings in, 363-4 ; at Merro, 358 
Dominicans at Ragusa. 113; in Bosnia, 

Driid, Gjore, 373 ; Marino, 375 
Dubrovnik, 18. See also Ragusa 
Dulcigno, 136, 138 
Ehirazzo. 7, 10, 118, 163, 166, 248 
Dusan, Stephen, Tsar of the Serbs. 60, 

Dutch in the Mediterranean, 314-15 

Earthquakes at Ragusa, 260, 298-305 
Elizabeth, widow of Louis of Hungary. 

167, 183 
England, trade with, 264; incident with, 

English colony at Ragusa, 275 

Epidaurum, 7. 15 

Eugene IV., Pope, 228; of Savoy, 324 

Fano, treaty with. 55 

Ferdinand, Emperor of Germany, 293 

Ferrara war, 257-8 

Florence, connection with, n8, 272-3 

Foda, 133, 267 

Fonton, Russian consul, 388-93 

Forte Molo, 357; San Giovanni, 291; 

Imperiale, 408, 410 
Fortifications of Ragusa, 291 
Forty Martyrs, feast of, 215-16 
Franciscan monastery at Ragusa, 153-6, 

304 ; at Mezzo, 359 ; at Stagno, 360 
Franciscans at Ragusa, 113 
French occupy Ragusa, 392 ; their rule 

in Ragusa, 396, 401 
French party at Ragusa, 387-8, 398 
French Revolutionary wars, 333 sq. 

Galliani, Archbishop of Ragusa, 327 
Garagnin, G. D., 401 
George Brankovid , Despot of Servia , 226-7 
Gervase, Count of Ragusa, 47-8 
Ghetaldi, Marino, 380; Rector of Ragusa, 

Giordani, Onofrio, 341-8, 352-3 
Giorgi, Colonel, 408; Damiano. 229; 

Marsilio, Count of Ragusa, 73 ; Matteo, 


Giuda, Damiano, 63-4 

Giuppajia, 107, 120 

Giustiniani, Marco, Count of Ragusa, 70 

Gondola, Francesco, 286-8; Francesco 
Giuseppe, 331 ; Giacomo, 198 ; Gio- 
vanni, see Gundulid 

Gozze, Giovanni, 372-3; Marino, 221, 
319-21 ; Niccol6, 195-6; Raphael, 323 

Grado, Patriarchate of, 39, 67 

Grand Council, 82, 85 

Gravosa, 107, 120. 273, 303, 357-8, 408 

Gregory VII., Pope, on Dalmatian 
Church, 51 

Grgurid, 409, 410 

Grimani, Patriarch of Venice, 282 

Gropa, Lord of Ochrida, 166 

Gunduli^, Ivan, 376-80 

Heraclius, Emperor. 21 

Herzegovina, 191, 234-5, 242, 255-6; 

Sandjakbegs of, 281, 284 
Hlum, 12, 61-2, 94-5, 135, 166-7, 174-5 
Hoste. Sir William, 402-4, 407-8 
Hrvoje, Duke of Spalato, 193, 197-201 
Hungary, connection of Dalmatia and 
Ragusa with, 35, 105, 163, 173, 351-a, 
256, 261-3; civil wars in, 183; con- 
quered by Austria, 321-4 
Hunyadi, John, 227. 229. 230 

IsAK Beg, 219, 223-4, 226, 238 

Jajce, 240, 242, 261-2 

John, Archbishop of Racusa, 73 

John Zapolya, Iving of Hungary, 362 

Kara Mustafa, 318-21 

Kiriko, 398, 399 

Klju^, 130, 242 

Kosada, Stephen, Duke of St. Sava, 334-5 

Kossovo, 139 ; first battle of. 186 ; second 

battle of, 229 
Kotromanic, Stephen , Ban us of Bosnia,6i 
Kresevo, 143 ; Diet of, 228 
Kroia, 230, 246, 248, 254 

Lacroma, 54, 286 

Ladislas, King of Hungary, 35, 337-9; 

Posthumus, King of Hungary, 339; 

Ladislas XL, King of Hungary, 358; 

of Naples, 198 
Lagosta. island of, 30, 31, 87, 107, 394 
Latin Empire of the ^st, 50 ; colonials 

at Rafusa, 80; poets at Ragusa. 378-3 
Laudo Populi, 24-5, 79 
Lazar, Knez, 165, 186 
Leopold I. , Ejnperor of Austria, 331-3 
Lesma, island of, 7, 199, 205-9, 4^3 
Levant, Spanish expedition to. 308-11 
Louis, King of Hungary, 103-4, 163, 168